Butternut squash is low in calories and rich in vitamins and nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium with a fiber bonus. The antioxidants in butternut squash can ward off diseases, colds, and flu and help prepare your body for seasonal changes from fall to winter.
Pick your squash. I find ones that have a longer ‘neck’ as they are easier to peel. Use a knife to cut off both the top and bottom of the butternut squash, about 1/4 of an inch from the end.
With a vegetable peeler, peel off the outer layer of the butternut squash. This is the squash’s skin. Depending upon your squash, you may notice a thin, lighter layer of flesh immediately underneath the peel that surrounds the darker yellow flesh below. You can always leave this lighter portion if it happens to stick. Once the squash is roasted, it will cook away, and you won’t taste it.
Then cut the squash crosswise where the neck of the squash meets the rounder, base end so that you have two round pieces, one that is a cylinder (the neck) and one that is more like a ball (the base). Stand each of the pieces upright on a cutting board and make a cut down the middle from top to bottom. Now you have 4 pieces.
Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds and stringy parts from the inside the base of the squash. Lay your halves cut side down and slice each half into 1-inch wide slices. Then, cut your slices crosswise in 1-inch wide cuts. This will give 1-inch cubes. Not all the pieces will be a perfect square, especially the base ones. This is okay, they will all taste delicious.
- Butternut Squash – this sweet, nutty, tasty vegetable shines when roasted to caramelized perfection
- Olive Oil – for roasted flavor and to ensure the squash caramelizes, be generous here so your squash doesn’t burn or dry out
- Maple Syrup – a little maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to the squash
- Cinnamon – is a fall favorite and the strong flavor goes a long way so a 1/2 teaspoon will do
- Rosemary – fresh rosemary is key to achieving the best flavor; this recipe has very few ingredients, so each of them counts
- Garlic, Onion, or Parmesan are optional additions to top off your squash before roasting for a festive flair or a common day delight
Use nonstick spray to coat two baking sheets. Grab a large bowl and add your squash cubes. Add olive oil, maple syrup, and spices to the bowl. Toss until the squash is completely coated.
Divide the squash between the baking sheets and discard any excess liquid from the bottom of the bowl. Make sure the squash is spread into a single layer on the baking sheets and not overly crowded. This will ensure the air can circulate in the oven and the squash roasts properly. If you crowd the squash on the pan, it will steam and not develop the caramelization.
Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. After 15 minutes, remove the pans, turn the squash with a spatula, and return to the oven.
Bake until the squash is tender, about 15 additional minutes. Remove from the oven, and scatter fresh rosemary over the top. Serve warm.
Enjoy the fall into winter season by eating the foods that offer you the most benefits. You’ll be ready and glowing for the holidays!