Caramelized Butternut Squash
Ingredients 2 medium TSFF butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total) 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.
Adapted, or perhaps downright copied, from "The Barefoot Contessa"
Health benefits of Butternut squash
Butternut squash contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. As in other Cucurbitaceae members, butternut too has very low calories; 100 g provides just 45 calories. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. Squash is one of the common vegetables that are often recommended by dietitians in cholesterol controlling and weight-reduction programs.
It has more vitamin A than a pumpkin. At 10630 IU per 100 g, it is perhaps the single vegetable source in the Cucurbitaceae family with the highest levels of vitamin-A, constituting about 354% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucusa. It is also an essential vitamin for optimum eye-sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help the body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Furthermore, butternut squash has plenty of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like A and �-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-�, and lutein. These compounds convert into vitamin A inside the body and deliver the same protective functions of vitamin A on the body.
It is rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
It has a similar mineral profile as that in pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Butternut squash seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that benefit heart health. In addition, they are rich in protein, minerals, and numerous health-benefiting vitamins. The seeds are an excellent source of the health promoting amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to the healthful GABA neuro-chemical in the human brain.