Who doesn't love breaking out the winter squash when the fall weather hits? These Gluten Free Butternut Squash Recipes are easy, delicious, and family-friendly. No more worrying about what's for dinner. (gluten free)
Butternut squash is a winter squash in the same family as zucchini and pumpkins. It has a gorgeous orange interior color but can be intimidating because of its hard skin and flesh.
How to Select a Ripe Butternut Squash
A ripe butternut squash will be dark beige in color and not shiny. It should not have any green patches either. Like watermelon, it should sound hollow when you knock on it.
Most grocery stores carry pre-cut butternut squash. You will pay more but it might be worth it if you wouldn't eat it otherwise. During the week I often don't have time to be cutting fresh squash so I often grab the precut.
Warning: precut butternut squash will only last a few days in the refrigerator. Plan to make it the day you buy it or the day after. You will be cursing yourself if you waste that extra money for the precut and it wastes!
Nutritional Benefits of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a healthy choice in the fall and winter and has several nutritional benefits according to WebMD :
- high in Vitamins A and C which is good for your immune system
- also contains magnesium, potassium, and calcium
- one serving of butternut squash is 87% water which can help to keep you hydrated
- contains lutein which is good for your eyes
- good source of fiber
Butternut squash has a mild taste that is sweet and nutty. It pairs well with so many fall spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, sage, cumin, and even chili powder. It is great served both sweet and savory.
It can be intimidating to cut butternut squash but once you get the hang of it, you realize it's quite simple.
How to Cut a Butternut Squash
- First, you need to create a stable base so you can safely set your squash on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef's knife cut the top one-half inch off including the stem. Then cut the bottom half inch off.
- Next, use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the skin. You will need to hold the squash in your hand for this part.
- Lay the squash down on its side and cut it in half. Then cut both halves in half. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy parts and discard them. You can cook these if you'd like.
- At this point, you can it for roasting or mashing. You can even freeze it at this point for use later in soups, stews, casseroles, or even roasting. You just want to do a flash freeze where you lay the cubes out on a sheet pan and freeze them for about an hour. Then you can place them in freezer bags and they won't stick together.