Friday, February 1, 2008
Braised Butternut Squash
As far as I can tell*, potatoes give us a nice amount of potassium, but did you know that butternut squash has almost the same amount of potassium, plus it has more fiber, calcium (almost 4 times as much, 10 times if you skin your potatoes), magnesium, vitamin C, folate, and it’s real claim to fame is that it is high in vitamin A. If you’re watching your carbs, butternut squash is lower than potatoes. The vitamin A contained in butternut squash is in the form of beta-carotene. Your body converts the beta-carotene into retinol, but it won’t do that unless you are eating plenty of fat with your meal. (Read more here.) So eat your squash with butter or try this recipe that calls for olive oil. 2 Tb olive oil1 Tb minced garlic – yes, a tablespoon, mmm!1 ½ pounds butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cubed (1/2 to 1-inch)¼ cup chicken, beef, or veggie stock, or water (I used water)salt and pepper, to tasteMinced fresh parsley leaves for garnish (I just used dried Italian herbs) Place olive oil and garlic in a large, deep skillet and turn the heat to medium. When the garlic begins to color, add the squash, stock or water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally and stirring somewhat less often, until all the liquid is evaporated and the squash has begun to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cook until the squash is as browned and crisp as you like. I was using a stainless steel pan and my squash kept sticking to the pan so it didn’t get very brown, but was very good anyway. I think I had the heat too high, though; I kept it on med-high. I also used more than 1 ½ pounds of squash; I should have used more oil. Anyway, it was great. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnish, and serve. *I got the nutrition information from the USDA nutrient database.