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Butternut squash de-mystified: 4 surprisingly simple ways to use it

This fall, the nutrient-dense butternut squash will take over Pinterest recipes, along with your kitchen. Known as a winter squash for its hard rind, it is harvested in the fall and winter months. According to the USDA, a serving of butternut squash is packed with 300% of your recommended daily intake in vitamin A, a powerful anti-oxidant that is beneficial for your immune system and your vision. Never tried this yummy fruit? Let us help you get started.

Ways to prepare butternut squash for dinner tonight:

  1. Eat it raw

Save time by skipping the cooking all together, and enjoy it raw. Many people recommend slicing thinly or using a grater to create small pieces that can be added to a salad or coleslaw. Our favorite? Slice it into cubes and throw it in a smoothie.

  1. Steam it in the microwave

In just 10 minutes you can prepare a butternut squash if you steam it in the microwave. Whether you want to steam it cubed or whole, just toss it in a microwave-safe container with about an inch of water at the bottom. Poke holes all over the squash, microwave on high for 5 minutes. Cover container with plastic wrap, but make slits so the steam can escape. Then remove, cut in half to scoop out seeds and place the squash, cut side down, back in the dish and microwave for another 5 minutes.

  1. Cube and bake

Bake your butternut squash if you have a little extra time to allow it to cook. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, cut in half to remove seeds then cut into cubes. Place the cubes on a baking sheet and cook for an hour, give or take. Don’t forget to add your favorite seasoning before baking!

  1. Sauté on the stovetop

Cube or slice your butternut squash and sauté on medium to high heat on the stovetop with olive oil and spices. This is perfect if you like your squash a little more firm with a nice crisp. Cook and stir until the squash browns and is tender. The flavor options are endless.

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