Butternut Squash Revealed

I am busty
Very busty, it makes me look fat
Don’t blame me
Blame my Grandmother
On my Dad’s side
She gave me
Her Breast DNA

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I have a pouch
No, I’m not of Australian heritage
forget my name is Oz – its a mere abbreviation
Yes, I have a pouch,
And no, I’m not a kangaroo
And there’s no baby growing inside

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I am also short
And yes, I love flats
8 inches less than my man
but still cute 🙂
I say of me….
Double chin or not
Inside I’m slim
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Other than that
I’m cool
And good
And ready to live
Learn, and love
And I love Butternut squash
My friend Alysha says of it:
‘You can’t go wrong
Even the name sounds good
Butter and nut’
I agree
—–♥♥♥♥♥—–

What I love about ‘The Maker’s Diet’, our healthy eating guide is that it is the only regimen I’ve ever followed in my X years of wanting to lose weight which has ever worked. Silly me, when I was a teenager I thought I was fat, I was just 16 – I knew nothing. Now I’m almost 34 (my birthday is next week – 30th June!) and I know I’m fat!

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In 2005 after our second baby, my husband saw Jordan Rubin on TV talking about his illness and recovery and how he accomplished it by eating right, according to what he called biblical principles.  We asked my sister who was living in Boston then to get us the book. She did and while I was on maternity leave, we went on a lifestyle change. It worked. I lost 15kg over months, by eating and rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) twice a day for 10 minutes initially and longer as we progressed. That was the first time ever I’d succeeded at weight loss. I learnt a lot about healthy eating and wise choices and though I’ve put on weight (I kept the weight off till I got pregnant for #3 in 2006), there are things that haven’t changed since then, like using wholewheat flour in some bakes – pancakes and waffles and muffins. I don’t enjoy the white flour versions anymore. We eat more wholewheat bread, use honey and maple syrup as the standards and eat nuts. Of course, the key to healthy eating is moderation! Even a good thing can have its downside in excess.

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Why do I think I enjoy ‘The Maker’s Diet’? Because of the freedom it gives. The ‘diet’ is split into 3 phases of 2 weeks (with the final phase being a continuum with forever) focusing on fresh, natural foods and drinks. Phase 1 restricts certain starchy foods, in fact, the closest thing to grains on the list in this phase is lentils. The other components are vegetables and fruits and drinks.

But I essentially have all these ingredients and I can, in true KB style experiment to my heart’s content. And that’s what I’ve been doing – thinking up new recipes and trying them out.

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The one thing that helped me this week, especially with working full time is preparing things ahead. Like my butternut squash. Which I call my Potato replacement. Because I’ve discovered that you can use them in a lot of recipes where you would normally use potatoes but you could also do more.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

What have I learnt about Butternut squash?

  1. It is extremely tasty and versatile – it is great in both sweet and savory dishes: we’ve had purees of it, soups and last week – a risotto. It would be superb in rice pudding too! Perfect for Soup it! Sauce it!! Bake it!!!
  2. It makes an extremely good potato replacement
  3. It makes an extremely good pumpkin replacement
  4. It makes a good sauce too, thinned
  5. Did I mention low calorie?
  6. Freezes well

So far, what I’ve done is make a puree and use that in different recipes. Next week, I’ll make chips and chunks of it!

Tip: “To cut a butternut squash in half, use a serrated knife’. Even then, I still found it tough to get two perfect halves!

IMG_6311Butternut Squash pureé

Ingredients

2 butternut squashes
Olive oil to baste
Salt, to season
PS if I keep it simple now, I can use it in a variety of ways later without one flavour predominating and limiting me!

How to

Pre-heat oven to 175 deg C
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. They are edible just like pumpkin seeds
Place the halves face up, skin down on a baking tray and oil, using a brush or just drizzle over. Then sprinkle some salt over them all.

When people add more flavourings like sugar and spices or ginger and garlic, they put them in the hollows!

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Bake uncovered for an hour or longer, till the squash is tender. Test by inserting a fork, the flesh should give easily.
Let it cool down and then gently scoop the flesh out of the skins, which would have softened considerably.

My two butternut squashes yielded a good 8 cups of puree, which have lasted us a week.

IMG_6263What did I cook with the Butternut squash?

On Sunday, I made some pan fried gnocchi, using chestnut flour and almond meal as the key binders. Stunning. Simply stunning – sweet, nutty and filling. For dinner, we had some pureé with lamb and carrot noodles….ok,  really a carrot salad.

On Monday, we had some Butternut and coconut milk soup with chicken – it was thick and luxurious to taste and filling too. And I took some to work on Tuesday!

On Wednesday, we had the leftover pureé, just warmed up with roast chicken, roast carrots & parsnips and some gravy.

And this Thursday, we had the last of it with some baked seabass and aubergines.

I was shocked at how far it went, cause we had 2 portions of the gnocchi (one is in the freezer) and 2 portions of soup. And it formed most of the sides we had this week!

We ♥ it and this is one ingredient going in the tick category for life!

I plan to test some more and things like Cottage pie come to mind and dauphinoise! We shall see.

Now, if you’re new to KB, my camera is in the shop…undergoing repairs, which is why there aren’t photos of the dishes – I took these a few weeks ago when I first made it with a delightful recipe from a Canadian friend of mine. She gave me a recipe for a sauce which is served with maple butter and pasta. But I want her to do a guest post here so I’ll save some of the gist.

This is heading off to Weekend herb blogging #239, started by Kalyn , run by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once and this week hosted Chris from Mele Cotte.

So, what is your favourite way to eat BNS? Please let me know, thanks![wpurp-searchable-recipe]Butternut Squash Revealed – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

35 Comments

  1. […] The prize: a bounty of goods from this OXO, and not OXO cubes (for my British comrades!). Plus I get a $100 gift card from Wholefoods and a copy of last year’s food52 cookbook and I’m also int he running to win the Wholefoods grand prize of $1000. And the satisfaction that my recipes have some merit, especially when they have ethnic flavours from Nigeria. I tell you, I’m a happy woman even if sadly absent from this blog for a whole week, yes I’m counting. Absent due to Summer cleaning – an extension of Spring cleaning because it didn’t happen in April and tidying my cookbooks (even if they’re not 360 cookbooks), a daughter’s birthday, work, work, work, being home alone with the kids with husband away over the weekend and just basking in life, still taking countless photos and still eating and exercising, just in case you’d forgotten that once upon a time, I committed to better living. […]

  2. I love butternut squash. I like to cube them, and roast them in the oven with some sliced chorizo. The chorizo oils add great flavour to the already delicious butternut squash, and go really well together! 🙂

    Lovely lovely photos.

  3. Roasted butternut squash is the start of so many wonderful meals. Our problem is that we need to roast twice what we need for the recipe, since everyone who walks by the roasting pan samples it.
    Mimi

  4. Lovely photos of the squash and happy early birthday! Good luck with your “quest” – I read your previous post too and wanted to say how much I enjoy Zumba – it helps me feel better about all the baking (and eating of baked goods) that I do 🙂

  5. If the butternut squashes aren’t too big, you can put them whole, one at a time, in a microwave for a few seconds until it gets a little soft. That way, you can get your knife into it easier afterward. I learned that trick from a magazine a long time ago. And I use it all the time for hard squashes that aren’t humongous. 😉

  6. This is a great post. You take good pictures! I have been on a weight loss jag as well. Down 13 lbs so far. I have made friends with hunger! Also doing a lot of outside work on my house and building some muscles, taking a small lunch to work helps…but mostly just getting used to not eating so much.

  7. What a great post, loved the story leading up to the wonderful ideas of one of my favorite squashes. The photos are brilliant and the writing only gets better if possible with each post.

  8. What perfect pictures & what a great written post!!!

    I so love butternut squash? just like you do. I love it roasted in the oven wit hot spices, in a pasta dish, baked , fried with garlic in a fruity olive oil, etc.

  9. Wow…you certainly got creative with that squash.
    ‘Butternut’ as well as the ‘Buttercup’ variety are indeed my favourites for both sweet and savoury recipes.
    Glad to read how you made the butternut such a highlighted star.
    Great post and looking forward to more of your creativity.
    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  10. beautiful pics…we loved butternut squash simply roasted tossed with rice or pasta, love the info on the makers diet, I recently purchased the book for my mom

    sweetlife

  11. Dear Oz, you’re amazing. 🙂 I can’t believe you’re only 34!!! You have wisdom and experience beyond your years. Now I have to muss up my brain and think of you as a younger sister. It feels weird. 🙂 I love all the things you did with the butternut. That gnocchi sounds absolutely fantastic. Will you share the recipe? My squash is waiting for me at home and I’d love to try the gnocchi this weekend. Big hug to you as you eat healthy and slim down. 🙂 I was able to go walking for the first time in weeks today and knew you’d celebrate with me. It’s the little things!! 🙂

  12. Gorgeous photos! I love roasted butternut squash, and I also make a soup with coconut milk. Risotto is another favourite, as well as ravioli. All your great dishes are making me anxious for fall, though summer’s just arrived!

  13. I love everything about this post! 🙂 Love butternut squash, as it is my potato replacement too. There is one in my kitchen as we speak just waiting for me.

    I like it roasted, as (baked) fries, roasted with parsnips, pureed, soup, shredded as hashbrowns…oh the possibilities. I also like using sesame oil instead of olive, as it brings an amazing nuttiness to it. 🙂 Can you tell I am a bit obsessed with BNSquash? lol

    Thanks for participating in WHB!

    • I do agree it is at its best roasted, as most veggies are (to a degree). I find roasting accentuates the flavours and smoothens them out too!

  14. Wonderful idea! It is way too warm here to be turning on my oven for long, but I adore roasted butternut squash in the winter. I also love adding the puree to muffins. So good! And of course, I also adore butternut squash ravioli.

  15. You are so full of so many good ideas! I’ve always eaten in moderation…not that big into pasta or potatoes. They’re good, but I could give them up easy enough. Now cheese…that’s another story. My big issue is getting back into the gym and doing some weight training. Or back into the pool everyday, especially now that the weather is perfect pool weather…I like exercising in the pool you don’t sweat!

    I do like butternut squash oven roasted and in soups. I have used it in a baked risotto too. My favorite is my butternut squash, ricotta cheese and walnut ravioli! I topped it with my sage, butter cream sauce, which was what canceled out all the healthy goodness of the squash and nuts!

    Looking forward to more!

  16. The humble butternut squash has never look so beautiful that in these photographs! My favorite way of eating it is in soup – I love the sweet creaminess. 😎

    There was a time not long ago when I looked at myself in the mirror and saw only flab. In my quest to ‘tighten and tone’, I not only lost weight but the joy of eating as well. All the mattered were calories, calories – how many could I cut out? How much was I consuming? Finally, I realized how much I was missing in regard to good, healthy food, so now my mantra is ‘Moderation in all!’ Thanks for a lovely post. 8-D

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