Butternut squash belongs to the gourd family which includes cucumbers, pumpkin and melons like watermelon. Technically speaking, it is considered a fruit due to the presence of seeds. Of course it must be enjoyed cooked, is mildly sweet and extremely delicious. Here are its nutritional benefits, simple preparation tips, Ayurvedic considerations and a lovely Butternut Squash Soup recipe. Keep reading.
Butternut squash has numerous health benefits which make it ideal for autumn and winter. The high digestive fire (metabolism) during the cold season can digest butternut squash perfectly. The low fat content and rich fiber content make it ideal for this time of year. It is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. The orange color signifies the abundance of carotenoids which make it an ideal source of vitamin A. It can also reduce inflammatory disorders due to its high antioxidant property.
Butternut squash presents the home cook with incredibly easy culinary possibilities. You can simply cut it in half length-wise and place it on a cookie sheet. Bake it in the oven for about an hour, or until you can pierce it with a sharp knife and it’s done. Or, remove the skin using a vegetable peeler and cut the flesh into chunks for steaming or sauteing. Once cooked, mash it, puree it for soup, fold it into a pasta or risotto dish, or simply savor your butternut squash as is.
Ayurvedically speaking, butternut squash balances Pitta and Vata dosha due to its sweet taste and heaviness property. It is ideal for the Pitta diet, Vata diet, Pitta Vata diet, and Vata Pitta diet.
Don’t know your Ayurvedic body type or constitution? Take the free Dosha Quiz for instant results!
Here’s a Vata and Pitta Pacifying Butternut Squash soup recipe.
2 cups butternut squash, chopped
4 cups water
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
salt, to taste
3 Tbsp organic ghee
In a soup pot, add 3 tablespoons of ghee and warm it over low heat. Add the bay leaf, cloves, turmeric and cumin powder and sauté for two minutes. When the smell of the spices fills the air, add in the carrots, squash and four cups of water. Cover and cook until the veggies are cooked thoroughly. Add salt and pepper and serve warm.
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