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The Very Versatile Butternut Squash

I once had a pumpkin-pie craving emergency that I quickly satisfied with the butternut squash I had on hand. Wow, what a great discovery! Now, I use butternut squash for many favorite dishes throughout the fall and winter. Here’s a traditional Pumpkin Pie you can make using butternut squash in place of pumpkin.

Butternut squash is a member of the gourd family. Its cousins include pumpkins and other winter squash, melons, cucumbers and summer squash. It’s incredibly versatile and can be baked, roasted, stewed, puréed or mashed, like potatoes. Here are some easy ways to try this simply sweet, nutritious and totally delicious squash:

Butternut squash is wonderful in salads. Did you know you can grate it raw to serve with leafy greens and a favorite dressing? Here are more salad ideas:

Remember, butternut squash is a bit sweeter than most pumpkins, but very similar in taste and texture. This makes it a great substitute for pumpkin and other winter squash in just about any recipe. You’ll love it baked into breads, muffins (try these Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins using butternut squash in place of pumpkin), cakes, pies, pancakes and cookies. This Butternut Blondies with White Chocolate Chunks recipe is scented with nutmeg. 

In cool weather, I’ll often simmer peeled butternut squash with onions (and sometimes a peeled apple and/or some fresh fennel) in vegetable stock with salt and pepper, adding spices, like ginger or curry powder, and herbs such as thyme, rosemary or chives. Then I purée and serve. Sometimes I will stir in a splash of coconut milk and sprinkle fresh parsley over the top. Simple and delish! If you like soup and chili, here are a few ideas:

Here are more savory ways for using butternut squash:

Do you have a favorite recipe using butternut squash?  Let me know.