Friday, 18 February 2011

Butternut Squash

This is without doubt, my favourite oddly shaped vegetable. Or is it a fruit? It has seeds, so I guess it would be. Regardless, it tastes great and is so versatile. In case you don’t know what one is (I had never heard of one up until about a year ago), it is from the cucurbit family, just like the courgette, pumpkin and cucumber.

So, why should you eat it? Well, it is a great source of Vitamin A & C, dietary fibre, potassium, iron, folate, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as B Vitamins 1,3,5 & 6. For those of you who like to keep track of your calories, 100g of butternut squash has only 38 calories in it and it is very low in fat. Yes, it is mostly carbohydrates, but don’t hate on carbs, they are your friend! Eat the right ones, and let them give you fuel to exercise. More on this another time though. One a side note, butternut squash is in season in September, October and November.

It has a really sweet flavour and although it is a complete hassle to peel, it is great simply roasted or made into chips, or added to pasta dishes, risottos and soups. You can even stuff it like you would an aubergine. My favourite thing to do with it is to make soup. There are tons of recipes online, but I found them all overly complicated, and so I made up my own recipe (like all the recipes I will be posting on here, they are 100% my own). It is a variation of Sopa de Calabaza, which is a spicy Cuban soup. In our house, we like our food pretty spicy, but just add less chilli if it is too much for you. It’s all about adapting recipes so they suit your tastes. This makes a nutritious, low fat and calorie meal, that will certainly keep you warm until spring finally arrives.

1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed.
1 onion, diced
½ bunch of coriander
2 tsp chilli flakes
0% fat Greek yogurt (optional)

1)Heat up some frylite (oil alternative. Use a tsp of oil if you don’t have this, but it will add more calories) in a large saucepan and add the butternut squash and onion. Cook until slightly browned, about 4 minutes.

2) Add enough boiling water to cover the vegetables, and then add a little extra.

3) Add the chilli and coriander.

4) Bring to the boil

5) Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 30 minutes

6) Blend the soup until smooth

7) Transfer to bowls and stir in a tbsp of 0% fat Greek yogurt.


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