Winter is here. The air is colder, and the food is getting warmer. Warm up with a twist on the classic: try out mashed maple potatoes made from sweet butternut squash.

Butternut Squash: Nutritional Value

The butternut squash is now one of the most widely prepared winter foods, and for good reason. It is a richly flavorful, healthy choice to add to a winter diet. Because it is naturally low in fat and calories, you can eat lots of it guilt-free. It also contains vitamins A, B6, C, E, magnesium, potassium, and manganese in its delicious fruitful center. All of these nutrients are sure to keep you feeling warm and healthy throughout the long winter here in Vermont.

Butternut Squash Origin

Since its first recorded cultivation in Stow, Massachusetts in the 1940s, the butternut squash has been a popular winter food choice all over the world.

The first known variety, the Waltham Butternut, was developed by Charles Leggett and introduced to the Waltham Field Station in Massachusetts in the early 1940s. Since then, many other versions of the winter squash were introduced into the produce industry.

The butternut squash is a winter squash that grows on a vine and shares a similar sweet nutty flavor to that of pumpkin. It is a popular food that many people add to sweeten up their fall and winter meals.

How to Prepare

Butternut squash can be prepared in many different ways. Whether you are someone who wants it baked, roasted or pureed into a soup, the butternut squash is the perfect option for your dinner table this winter.

It is most popularly roasted or puréed into soup, but there are countless other options for enjoying it this winter. It is the perfect complement to mild, sweet meats such as chicken, roast pork or even roast beef. You can add it to stew or even have it cubed with smoky bacon and fresh apple pieces for a very fall themed dish.

Does this sound something you may be interested in? Try out this recipe; it may just be the perfect thing for your table.

Mashed Maple Squash

  • 1acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 2Tbsppure maple syrup
  • 1tspbutter
  • 1/4tspground cinnamon
  • 1/4tspsalt
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place squash halves cut-side down in the prepared pan. Bake until soft, about 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Scrape the soft squash flesh into a medium bowl. Stir in syrup, butter, cinnamon and salt with a fork, mashing the squash until somewhat smooth.
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For more on butternut squash, including recipes, book recommendations, and fun activities for kids, check out the Vermont Harvest of the Month website.

Get more recipes from the UVM Medical Center. View our Recipe Collection by clicking here. 

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