Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty taste like that of a pumpkin. It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange and becomes sweeter and richer. It is a good source of fibre, vitamin c, manganese, magnesium and potassium and it is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E.
Although technically a fruit, butternut squash is used as a vegetable that can be roasted, sautéed, toasted, pureed for soups or mashed and used in breads and cakes. Almost all the parts of the butternut squash plant, fruit, leaves, flowers and seeds are edible.
HEALTH BENEFIT OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant food like butternut squash decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
- Lowing and preventing high blood pressure.
Getting enough potassium in your diet is just as important as lowering intake when it comes to maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
- Preventing asthma
The risk for developing asthma is lower in people who consume a high amount of beta-carotene,the antioxidant that gives certain fruit and vegetables their bright orange pigment.
- Lowering cancer risk.
Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an in verse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer per a study conducted by the Harvard school of public health’s department of nutrition.
- Managing diabetes
Type 1 diabetics who consume high-fibre diets have lower overall blood sugar level, while type 2 diabetics have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.
- Healthy looking skin and hair
Butternut squash is also great for your skin because of its extremely high vitamin A content, which is needed for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A plays an important role in the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.
- Rich source of fibre
Maintaining a high fibre diet helps to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
- Boosting immune function
Plant food like butternut squash that are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an immunity boos from their powerful combination of nutrients. Some studies have shown that high fibre food may also offer improved immune function.
HOW TO PEEL AND CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH
For stability and ease, use a sharp kitchen knife to cut one inch from the top and bottom of squash and discard.Using a serrated peeler, peel away the thick skin till you reach the deeper orange flesh of the squash.With a spoon scoop, away the seeds and membranes discard. Then cut per your recipe direction.
HOW TO STORE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Store your fresh, uncut squash in a cool, dark place, such as a closet, where sunlight won’t hasten it’s ripening.Under the right storage conditions, your butternut squash should last two to three months.Butternut squash tends to be large.
WHAT IT YOU CUT UP MORE THAN YOU NEED TODAY’S RECIPE?
Once it’s cut, the squash will last in the refrigerator for at least four days.Make sure it’s covered, ideally in a close fitting container.