The bright orange butternut squash is full of age-defying nutrients, which counteract the cell damage that could lead to cancer and heart disease. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which could relieve the pain of conditions such as arthritis. The butternut squash is a great source of beta-carotene (as evidenced by its orange colour) which the body converts to vitamin A, needed for maintaining a healthy immune system and a good digestion.
It also contains high levels of magnesium and potassium which helps with energy production. A deficiency in these minerals can lead to fatigue, cramps and increased risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart problems.
Butternut Squash Soup
(Recipe adapted from “Small Changes, Big Results” by Ellie Krieger)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon mixed spices
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ tsp ground cumin
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
4 teaspoons plain low-fat yogurt for garnish (optional)
1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent (approximately 10 minutes.) Add the garlic, mixed spices, cumin and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute more until the spices and garlic become fragrant.
2. Add the squash, stock, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the squash is tender about 15-20 minutes.
3. Puree with an immersion blender then stir in the maple syrup. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with yogurt if desired.