As we head into the Fall and Winter months, you’ll start to see all the beautiful winter squash, pumpkins, and gourds festively adorning your supermarket produce aisles. While pumpkin is a first pick for many people, don’t underestimate other favorites like butternut squash and acorn squash.
Butternut squash is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, as well as magnesium and potassium. The Vitamin C is beneficial for keeping your immune system strong as we head into cold and flu season, and Vitamin A can help with healthier skin and nails. While acorn squash has very similar benefits, it’s also high in fiber, high in antioxidants, and has been shown to help regulate blood sugar. And even though your first thought when you think “pumpkin,” maybe that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, pumpkin can actually help aid in weight loss! It’s full of fiber, so it helps you feel full longer and contains no saturated fat.
So how can you add these three seasonal squash into your diet? Here are a few of our favorite healthy recipes!
1. Pumpkin Spiced Latte
While it may be quicker and easier to rush out to your neighborhood coffee shop for this seasonal favorite — you’re likely getting a LOT of unhealthy ingredients! Your typical Pumpkin Spiced Latte can have close to 400 calories and 50 grams of sugar! Not to mention NO real pumpkin, artificial caramel color, and artificial flavors. Here is a healthier version you can make at home.
Combine the following in a glass or coffee mug:
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 2 Tablespoons coconut cream (from full-fat coconut milk)
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or stevia)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or combine cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, clove)
Whisk together and put on the stove until warm..
- 1 serving of hot coffee
- You can make your own whipped cream by whisking 1 cup coconut cream drizzled with raw honey in a stand mixer on high for several minutes until peaks form. (You don’t want to skip this, it’s delicious!)
2. Baked Acorn Squash
This is a quick and easy way to make acorn squash that will leave your kitchen smelling like the flavors of fall! To prepare your squash, slice it in half and remove the seeds and stringy pulp.
You will need:
- 1 acorn squash, prepped
- 2 Tablespoons of grassfed butter, ghee, or coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to taste
- Sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
Place your acorn squash upright in a glass dish or dutch oven. Poke a few holes in your squash with a fork or knife for even cooking. Place a tablespoon of butter in each acorn squash half, sprinkle with the coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Drizzle with the maple syrup. Add a small amount of water to your pan and cover with a lid — this will create steam to help soften your acorn squash.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then check the tenderness of the squash. Cook for additional time if needed. Serve alone or with added greens on the side.
3. Kale & Butternut Squash Soup
This is an incredibly easy dinner meal that will serve a family of four (with leftovers!) It’s full of delicious flavors and a variety of nutrients, fiber, and plant protein. Not to mention, it cooks all day in the crockpot and makes for easy clean-up!
Combine the following in a 6-quart crockpot:
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 4 cups vegetable broth
Stir to combine, cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. About half an hour before you plan to serve, add 3 cups of chopped kale. You want the kale to become tender, but not be overcooked.
Season with additional salt and pepper if needed and serve!