Summer is winding down and taking its hotter temperatures with it — so it's high time to dust off the scrumptious pumpkin recipes for the coming cooler months.
Both pumpkin and butternut squash are members of the Cucurbitaceae family and are sweet in flavor. They provide prevention against cardiovascular disease via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Preliminary evidence shows that they can partially block the formation of cholesterol. They also help regulate blood sugar and prevent type 2 diabetes.
Winter squash is ultra-high in nutrients. As if providing a whopping 214 percent daily value of vitamin A weren't enough evidence, it also is high in vitamin C (almost 33 percent), fiber (almost 30 percent), manganese (19 percent) and vitamin B6 (16.5 percent).
To top it off, it tastes great, too. Shaped like a large pear, butternut squash has a cream-colored skin and deep orange flesh. Pumpkins come in a variety of colors — orange, white, green — but cooking pumpkins are orange inside and out.
In Wichita, you can find many varieties of fresh winter squash soon at area Dillons, Target, Walmart and other grocery stores. If you can't wait to try this recipe, go to 21st and Webb and visit Stutzman's, in the Cambridge Market parking lot.
Try this delicious, nutritious winter squash recipe on a cool autumn evening.
Butternut squash and pumpkin soup
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups butternut squash, cubed (about 2 butternut squash)
1 can pumpkin puree
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1 head garlic, peeled
8 cups vegetable stock
1/8 cup coconut milk (optional)
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
Plain Greek or nonfat yogurt (for garnish)
Pumpkin seeds, roasted (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds.
- Cut off the ends where the seeds have been scooped out, place the garlic in each cavity and place those pieces face down on a baking dish.
- Peel and cut up the rest of the squash into large cubes and place in the baking dish with the onion and carrot with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
- Roast for one hour, until just tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the vegetable stock in a pot.
- Add the roasted vegetables, garlic and scoops of the garlic-infused butternut squash into the pot.
- Add the minced ginger and bring to a boil; add the pumpkin puree and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk (optional) and allow to cool.
- Blend the soup in batches in a food processor, until thick and creamy.
- Garnish with 1 tablespoon yogurt and roasted pumpkin seeds.
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