Butternut squash (also known as winter squash) isn’t just for soup. It also makes a really delicious, golden colored dip or spread that is easy and quick to make, loaded with beta-carotene. It also may minimize risk of cataracts and helps to preserve normal eyesight. If you smoke or are exposed to second hand smoke, you should eat butternut squash several times a week to prevent the risk of lung cancer. It also prevents against cancer, stroke and heart disease; and keep the right balance of fluid and electrolytes in your body.
Interestingly, unlike summer squash, butternut gets sweeter the longer it stays on the vine. You don’t have to refrigerate it and it will stay good for 3 months if you store it in a cool, dry place. Another good tip is that you can substitute it for pumpkin in pie, bread or soup!
6 cups cubed butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbsp evoo
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or (1 tsp dried)
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
sea salt (very little) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook squash according to the pkg if using frozen. Drain the liquid, reserving it for a vegetable broth or to water your plants with!
If using fresh, peel squash, cut in half lenghthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Put into a med-large size saucepanand cover with water plus 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer 6-9 minutes or until tender and can pierce easily with a fork.
While still in the pot, add all other ingredients and blend until smooth with your immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender (you have to get one today!) then put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Serve with: Toast pita pockets, then cut into triangles. I love to use Ezekial pita pockets because they are whole grain and low sodium. They make great dipping chips. Another idea is to toast Ezekial whole grain tortillas and cut tham into triangles. And of course you can always use crudite veggies as well. Or, don’t make anything, buy your favorite healthy chip.
Dip will stay fresh in fridge for 3-4 days.
Cool tip: Turn leftover dip into a delicious soup! Just add 1 cup of vegetable broth to 1 cup of squash, heat, mix and eat! Wowza!