Saturday, January 31, 2015

Healthy recipes using butternut squash

Butternut squash soup
Butternut squash soup iStockphoto

Butternut squash: it’s good for you, flavorful, and easy to cook with, which makes it a great ingredient to add to your meals this holiday season!

This winter squash – which is considered a fruit because it has seeds – has a sweet, nutty flavor which allows it to blend nicely in soups, stews, pasta, and more. Its thin skin makes it easy to peel, which expedites the prepping process – whether it’s pureed, roasted, or baked.

Adding this squash to your meals will also provide you with tons of fiber, vitamins and other essential nutrients for your diet. Just one cup of a butternut squash will give you about a third of your daily Vitamin C intake, which boosts your immune system. This low-cal fruit also promotes healthy vision due to its high Vitamin A content. There’s even an added bonus for expectant mothers. Butternut squash contains folate, which has been shown to reduce birth defects when consumed before and during pregnancy. One cup contains 15 percent of the recommended intake.

Now that the days are getting cooler and holiday season has officially kicked off, we’ve found five, hot recipes that you can warm up with this week. All are less than 400 calories:

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  • Monday: Easy butternut squash risotto

    This healthy risotto recipe only takes 20 minutes to make. This low-cal meal uses brown rice, and will keep you full with 6 grams of fiber.

    Per serving: 256 calories, 8g fat, 41g carbohydrates, 10g protein, 6g fiber

    View recipe >

    Tuesday: Moroccan stew with butternut squash, carrots and quinoa

    This stew contains a number of nutritious ingredients, including the squash, carrots, quinoa, and tomatoes, and is full of flavor from over a dozen other ingredients. Enjoy for less than 300 calories.

    Per serving: 256 calories, 8g fat, 41g carbohydrates, 10g protein, 6g fiber

    View recipe >

    Wednesday: Butternut squash soup with sage

    This low-fat soup has fall over it. With a nice blend of butternut squash, sage, carrots, celery, and shallots, you’ll be getting lots of healthy ingredients for a low amount of calories!

    Per serving: 135 calories, 5g fat, 23g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 3g fiber

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    Thursday: Beef tagine with butternut squash

    Spice up your classic beef stew by adding some butternut squash to it. This mouth-watering meal mixes a variety of spices including paprika, garlic and cinnamon.

    Per serving: 283 calories, 9.5g fat, 25.7g carbohydrates, 25.6g protein, 4.8g fiber

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    Friday: Creamy, light macaroni and cheese

    Forget traditional mac and cheese. This recipe trims fat and calories by using squash, fat-free Greek yogurt and nonfat milk to replace the buttery, heavy sauce that usually accompanies this recipe.

    Per serving: 390 calories, 10.9g fat, 53.9g carbohydrates, 19.1g protein, 3.2g fiber

    View recipe >

    Lauren Mennen Philly.com
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