Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1-2-3 Easy Butternut Squash

If peeling a butternut squash intimidates you, try this method that does not require peeling it first!


              
Two months ago, I would have said, "I don't cook or eat butternut squash !"  

Even though I like all vegetables, I had many good reasons why I would walk by the hearty manila colored butternut squash in the supermarket and never ever entertain the idea of purchasing one.
Let me explain my reasons for not eating butternut squash.

Reason # 1.  I always felt they were too hard to peel
Reason # 2.  I always felt they are too hard to cut
Reason # 3.  I always felt they were too fattening

Well, my excuses are over. I now buy and make butternut squash for three very good new reasons.

Reason # 1. I learned to bake a whole butternut squash without peeling it.
Reason # 2. I learned to bake a whole butternut squash without cutting it.
Reason # 3. I learned that Weight Watchers now classifies butternut squash as a regular vegetable that does not have any point value.

 For those of you who have never been a "Weight Watcher", I will explain.  You see, each dieter gets a daily allotment of points that can be consumed in one day. Lettuce, cucumbers, string beans etc. are what were referred to as "free vegetables" because they do not have any point value that count towards the daily allotment. But butternut squash always had fattening points! And after all, who wanted to use my precious points to eat butternut squash when I could have perhaps chosen to use my points on a cookie or small scoop of ice cream instead.

Well officially, now everything has changed. The new Points Plus program at Weight Watchers counts butternut squash as a free vegetable ( just like cucumbers and lettuce),  and it has no points.  I can eat it, and I don't have to count it towards my daily points allowance. It is a free vegetable! Yay!  So, now I eat happily eat butternut squash.

Truthfully, I have always loved the sweet flavor of butternut squash.  ( kinda like a sweet potato or yam). Now, I can eat butternut squash at least once a week ( or more)  and love it. I'm glad because butternut squash is really healthy . It is loaded with fiber, beta carotene that is good for the eyes, and other healthy antioxidants that boost the immune system. It is a great addition to a gluten free ( or any diet).

I also found a way to eat butternut squash without peeling or cutting it..
I learned that you can take a whole unpeeled butternut squash ( wash it well) , place it on a cookie sheet, ( no need to pierce) , place it in a preheated 450 degree oven, and bake it until the squash until it becomes tender ( about 45-1 hour for a med-large squash). Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little, cut in half ( watch steam) and remove seeds. Your baked squash will be sweet, soft, and delicious.



I love this method of baking butternut squash ( or acorn squash) because it is so easy, and because it always comes out  extra sweet.


I may have overcooked it a little



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14 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this blog! I've always seen butter squash in the supermarket of course, but I never knew what to do with it - but now I do. And you say it gets extra sweet if you bake it? Great, I'm going to try this for sure. I'm your newest follower and I like for you to come visit and follow me too so I can be one of your blogging friends. Agan, great job and Happy Wednesday!


    http://exjw-foodie.blogspot.com/

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  2. This is the easiest way to make butternut squash ever! Thanks for becomming a follower of Gluten Free A-Z. I certainly will check out your blog as well.

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  3. Hi Judee,
    We grow Butternut Squash in our garden every year. It is a great squash with great flavor. Your post is very good. Thank you for sharing it with us at Full Plate Thursday and I hope you will come back!

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    1. Thanks Miz Helen, You are so lucky to grow butternut in your garden. I'm joining a CSA and hopefully I will get some this year

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  4. Wow! This is so easy! I always struggle to cut the squash. I also find that it is very watery when you bake it face down in water...I think this will be super easy. This is the starchiest thing we eat on GAPS/SCD and we eat it ALOT. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. I hope it works out for you Jill. I love your Fat Tuesday blog carnival for healthy ideas and recipes

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  5. I love butternut squash! It's one of my favorites... though I've just discovered it this winter. I didn't know you could cook it whole though... thanks for bringing your post, and your tips, to Friday Potluck this week. Can't wait to see what you bring next week!

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    1. I used to struggle with it too. Now I just bake it as is and its very sweet

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  6. Wow this is a great tip! I actually wrote a post about the trials of cutting and cooking Butternut Squash on my own blog, so I am so excited to discover this method. Thank you!

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    1. That's why I am so excited about not having to peel or cut it. It is really difficult . Why do it when this works and is tasty

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  7. I'm glad you have come to love butternut squash. are there any other vegetables that WW assigns points to? I am intrigued and a little shocked; I assumed that all vegetables would be zero points.

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    1. Sarah,
      WW assigns points to the starchy veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes,

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  8. What a great method! I will have to try this next time. Thanks for linking up at my blog hop :-)

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  9. Thank you! I thought I was going to hurt myself making a casserole with this squash. First the peeling was difficult, and then my chef's knife got stuck in it! I had to use yet another knife to get the other one out! Dangerous stuff but tastes good, so thanks for this tip!

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