Cook Whole in the Oven
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and place flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for 30 to 40 minutes. The squash will be soft and tender when it has cooked through.
Place your squash on a large baking sheet or in a baking dish, cut side up. Roast it at 400° for about an hour. A fork should be able to easily pierce the squash and shred it.
Make sure all of the squash is coated with oil. Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once, or until squash is golden brown and fork tender. Don’t overcook it or it will get mushy.
STEP 10: To see if your roasted butternut squash cubes are done baking, just stick a paring knife into one of them. If the flesh is soft then it’s done roasting. If it’s still crunchy and firm then it needs to roast longer. When they are done you want it to be done on the inside but also caramelized on the outside.
Acorn squash is rich in antioxidants, which can neutralize potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. These antioxidants can help to protect people against health issues like arthritis, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
Here’s my tip for slicing squash: Microwave for about 3 minutes and then let it cool enough for it to handle, and slice. This softens the skin, making it easier to cut. Yes, it adds a few minutes to your prep time, but if you’re saving your fingers, it’s probably worth it.
Butternut squash has a smoother, sweeter, almost nutty flavor. They can even be used in place of pumpkin in some recipes (not that I have anything against pumpkin). Acorn squash is sweet, too, but more fibrous and sometimes stringy, which is why butternut squash is usually used in soups instead of acorn.
Check the squash after 30 minutes to gauge cooking. The squash is done when tender. The squash is ready when you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh all the way to the peel.
To check for doneness, flip one half of the spaghetti squash over and run a fork down the top edge of the squash. The squash is done cooking when the fork easily forms spaghetti-like strands with an al-dente (slightly firm) texture.
The toxicity associated with consumption of foods high in cucurbitacins is sometimes referred to as “toxic squash syndrome”. In France in 2018, two women who ate soup made from bitter pumpkins became sick, involving nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and had hair loss weeks later.
Use a sharp knife (or a sturdy vegetable peeler) to carefully remove the skin. Alternatively, the skin can stay on because it’s edible when roasted! But if adding to a soup (or recipe where it won’t be roasted), remove and discard. Remove any seeds with a spoon or ice cream scoop.
</del>Ok, so some squashes—like butternut and kabocha—should be peeled before you eat them. But certain varieties, especially the smaller ones like acorn and delicata, have softer, more tender skins, so you don’t have to bother with the peeling; just eat them.
Things to Look Out For
While the high beta-carotene content in squash can provide many benefits, studies also suggest that consuming too much of this compound can increase the risk of lung cancer. In addition, some types of prepared squash include high amounts of added sugar.
Which is healthier? In summary, butternut squash and sweet potatoes are both incredibly good for you. Both are great sources of vitamins and minerals, particularly antioxidants like beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are about double calories, carbs, and sugar per serving than butternut squash.
SWEET POTATO SHOCKER
Sweet potatoes have about double the calories, carbs, and sugar than than butternut squash (see the chart below—source). We side with the squash. And actually, cup for cup acorn squash is the most nutritious of all the winter squash varieties—but it’s smaller and thus yields less meat‡.
It’s sure to leave your family asking for seconds! Roasted acorn squash is a delicious diabetic-friendly side your whole family will love.
Several types of plant-based foods are full of fiber, but unlikely to cause gas in your digestive tract. Squash, spinach, asparagus, jicama, beets, artichokes and tomatoes are fiber-rich vegetables you can enjoy, without worrying about gas.
Cutting into harder winter squash, be it butternut, kabocha, or spaghetti squash, always feels a little nerve-racking.
Start by making several large slits through the skin with the tip of a sharp knife. This helps the air release as your squash heats up (so your squash doesn’t explode when you microwave it). Next, microwave the squash on high for approximately 3-5 minutes to soften the skin, which makes it easier to cut.
A hearty side dish or precursor to a soup, roasted winter squash is a delicious and versatile fixture in the diets of people with diabetes. Though technically classified as fruits, acorn squash and butternut squash are considered starchy vegetables that can serve as healthy replacements for russet potatoes.
Squash is an excellent source of Vitamin A and dietary fiber. Zucchini has 58% less calories than squash. Zucchini has 70% less carbohydrates than squash. Zucchini has more riboflavin, however, squash contains more niacin.
Though the fall favorite has highest fiber count, it has approximately 20 net carbohydrates per cup, which is way too high for most keto dieters. Comparatively, butternut squash has just about 15 net carbohydrates per cup, making it acceptable for some keto dieters.
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