Roasted butternut squash is great alternative to potatoes for those who are seeking a vegetable that is less starch ridden yet equally satisfying. Aside from the peeling and seeding, the simple preparation is much the same. But the health benefits you get from them should cause you to consider making them more often. Like other orange fleshed vegetables, butternut squash is a potent source of the antioxidants alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. They are pro vitamin A carotenoids which help the body convert the carotenes into vitamin A.
Vitamin A is known to boost immunities, reverse skin damage, and is essential for healthy vision . They are also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins C and E, and the minerals potassium and magnesium which help to promote strong bones. The high levels of antioxidants in these orange fleshed vegetables have shown to help reduce blood cholesterol, fight cancer, and reduce menopausal symptoms.
|Roasted Butternut Squash|
|1 tablespoon||olive oil|
|2 sprigs||fresh thyme leaves|
|1||red onion, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)|
|freshly ground black pepper|
|Preheat the oven to 400 F.|
|Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to peel the skin from the squash.|
|Slice across the squash about 1/3 from the bottom where it starts to narrow. Usually the bulbous bottom part of the squash is where the seeds are and the upper neck portion is free of seeds.|
|Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and pulp from the squash as best as you can manage.|
|Cut the squash into slices about 1 inch thick and across into chunks. You might find that the center core portion of the longer neck of the squash is a bit spongy. Discard that piece. If you prefer larger pieces, cut to desired size.|
|Toss the prepared squash pieces with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and onion, if using, on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the pieces are browned and caramelized.|