Butternut squash

Butternut squashA great vegetable to know what to do with. The orange flesh is bursting with a carotene called beta-cryptoxanthin, which is linked to protection against lung cancer. Butternuts are also full of vitamins C and E, calcium, iron and magnesium, and, of course, full of fibre to keep the gut healthy. The same as with the carotenes in tomatoes (find out more here), oil or fat of some kind helps the body absorb them.

Butternut squash makes a delicious soup, try this sweet potato and squash soup, or a particular favourite is roasted red pepper and butternut soup. One of my go-tos at the moment is this roast butternut squash dish, which makes a cracking hearty vegetarian dish or side to some grilled meat. Hats off to River Cottage again for this one.

How to:

Cut a squash in half and remove the seeds. Pop half a crushed garlic clove and a knob of butter into each of the holes and bake for 1 hour at 190C. When the flesh is soft, spoon it out leaving 1cm round the skin. Mash the flesh up with a handful of broken walnuts, thyme leaves and some cubes of blue cheese. Season well then spoon back into the squash skins and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling. Add a trickle of good olive oil and some more thyme leaves to serve.

Roast butternut squash

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