Fall is right around the corner, which has me craving all things pumpkin, soups and butternut squash! I love the upcoming season because it usually means cooler weather (which here in Florida is never predictable!), hearty soups, and pumpkin spice everything.
One of my favorite fall fruits (yes, it’s a fruit!) is butternut squash because of its rich flavor and versatility in the kitchen. While we all know butternut squash is delicious, did you know it’s also insanely good for you?
I’m uncovering the nutritional benefits of butternut squash and sharing some of the butternut squash recipes I’m looking forward to trying this fall below!
The 411 On Butternut Squash
You may have wondered why butternut squash is usually available year-round in your local market, even though it’s considered to be most abundant in the fall. This is because the harvest times for butternut squash are during the summer and fall, but because this vegetable stores so well, it is available almost year round.
If you’ve had butternut squash before, you are familiar with its sweet, decadent and slightly nutty flavor. One of my favorite characteristics of this winter squash is that it can be a star ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes!
Fun fact: Did you know that in Australia and New Zealand they refer to butternut squash as “butternut pumpkin”? This makes me love this winter squash even more. Butternut + pumpkin = the perfect fall duo.
Nutritional Benefits of Butternut Squash
Now that we know a little history behind my favorite fall fruit, let’s talk about the many nutritional benefits of butternut squash.
Butternut squash is low in fat and full of dietary fiber, making it a great addition to your diet for optimal heart health! The fall favorite also contains a high amount of:
- Potassium which helps lower blood pressure, aids in heart health and enhances muscle strength
- Vitamin B6 – a crucial nutrient for optimal functioning of the immune and nervous systems
- Folate, which is also important for bone health and helps guard against brain and spinal cord-related birth defects (Pregnant? Bring on the butternut squash soup!)
- Vitamin C –One cup of butternut squash provides 50% of your daily needs of this ultimate immune system fighter!
What do carrots and butternut squash have in common? They are both orange in color, which indicates that they have an abundance of the powerhouse nutrients known as “carotenoids”, specifically beta-carotene, which your body automatically converts to Vitamin A. This specific vitamin helps to prevent heart disease and macular degeneration, as well as improves eye health.
10 Delicious Butternut Squash Recipes
Need a yummy and healthy fall breakfast idea? Check out this Breakfast Hash with Squash, Kale and Peppers via Food Faith Fitness.
Baking with squash – you can’t go wrong! Make this delicious Gluten Free Oatmeal Squash Flatbread via Cotter Crunch.
After you’re done making Lindsay’s flatbread above, spread it with some of this decadent Sweet Butternut Squash and Coconut Jam via The Kitchn.
Make your own brown bag lunch for work! Get the recipe for this healthy and satisfying Butternut Squash Quinoa with Kale, Cranberries, Walnuts and Goat Cheese via Stuck on Sweet.
Cozy up under a warm blanket with a steaming bowl of this hearty Butternut Squash Turkey Chili via FitLiving.
Looking for ways to sneak in more veggies at dinnertime? Look no further than this yummy Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze via Oh She Glows.
Have a Mexican fiesta fall-style with this recipe for Butternut Squash & Mushroom Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce via Pinch of Yum.
A classic fall recipe that everyone will be asking for seconds for! Get the recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup via The Simple Veganista.
Need a side with that? Julia has you covered with this Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets Recipe via The Roasted Root.
Butternut squash can satisfy your sweet tooth, too! Try these Baked Apples Stuffed with Spiced Butternut Squash and Gingersnap Crumble via Heartbeet Kitchen.