Or the more appropriate question may be, "Where has butternut squash been all our lives?"
I mentioned Gabriel's love for butternut squash, but the beautiful squash deserves its own, whole post, so here goes....
We had our first butternut squash about three months ago. I'd heard of it before that, but I'd never tried it, not once in my life...and actually, I couldn't have even told you what it looked like.
Pssssttt, if that describes you also, this...
...is what it looks like. It can be found in the produce section with other winter squashes, like acorn squash and spaghetti squash.
So we tried it several months ago for the first time, and I'm so thankful because this beautiful squash has turned into quite the lifesaver for us now that we're all on the GAPS diet. Butternut squash is GAPS-legal, oh-so-good and nutritious for us...and yummy!
My children love butternut squash. Love. it.
All five of them. There are not too terribly many foods/dishes that can boast that.
When I first bought a squash on a whim several months ago, I then had to ask Oh, Wise Google how in the world to cook it once I got it home. I found this helpful post that gave me several choices of ways to cook it. I always use the first way (which I'll describe below), because #1. these things can be really hard to cut into and I can't imagine peeling it and dicing it up...and #2. we don't have a microwave (got rid of it a year or two ago).
So, here's how we've been cooking our butternut squash...
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice right down through the middle of the butternut squash, like so...
See the seeds, and peel (and even the sticker)? Don't worry about any of that, we're just going to put both halves flesh-side down in a dish now, like so:
And if you have enough butternut squash lovers in your family, it makes more sense to go ahead and bake two of these suckers any time you're going to mess with it.
After you place the squash flesh down, add about a half inch of water to each pan.
Then tightly cover the pan with foil.
Steam bake those lovelies for an hour. Be very careful when getting the pan out of the oven so that hot water doesn't splash out....and be very careful pulling the foil up to not burn yourself with all the steam that comes out (ask me how I know).
At that point I go ahead and flip the squashes over...and then just let them sit there and cool off some before messing with them anymore.
How do my kids eat the butternut squash?
Well, I've made this Butternut Squash Frittata. They loved it.
I've also made these Squash and Cinnamon Bars several times. They LOVE them!
But the way we normally eat it is just straight up.
My older kiddos love to eat it in a bowl with plenty of butter (healthy saturated fat!), and some cinnamon, and honey (raw, local).
|Yes, surprise, my drama queen is acting a little here, but seriously...she loves it.|
They've also been known to stir some peanut butter in there. (But they're excited that we're allowed to have PB on the GAPS diet now, so maybe that wouldn't taste good to anyone else!)
For Gabriel's squash, we stir in a glob of tallow (that I rendered from the 1/2 a grassfed cow we purchased), and some salt...and he's ready to go to town. He's very serious about his butternut squash.
"Hey, Daddy...why are you taking a picture of me?"
"Seriously...why do you want a picture of me eating this?"
"You still there?"
"Oh well...I'm going to enjoy my bedtime snack!"
Well, actually, Jas usually does it: he scoops the flesh out into mounds on a cookie sheet and then we stick it in the freezer. We just throw the mound(s) in a pot with a little homemade broth (water would work also), cover it with a lid, and heat it up when we need it.
How to Steam-Bake Butternut Squash
Preheat overn to 400 degrees.
Cut squash down the middle. Lay flesh-side down in a 9x13 dish. Add about 1/2 inch of water. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Flesh should now be nice, mash-able...and yummy! Serve savory with butter (or ghee, tallow, coconut oil) and salt. Or, serve with butter, honey, cinnamon. Enjoy!