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Squash-soup

MMMM Squash This is the time of year when the evenings are usually cool enough that we want to start having hot meals again.  Soups and stews make such nice evening meals and lead themselves to some great plant based meals that are filling and comforting as we feel the coming chill in the air.

Squash comes at just the right time for this change in seasons.  Fall squash, or winter squash as they are commonly called, are sweet and rich and filling. The winter squash are also LOADED with Vitamin A, C, slow burning fiber to keep you full for longer stretches, are an excellent source of beta carotene, and much more.  The seeds should be eaten too! Scoop out the seeds and roast them. Not only can they be a great crunch snack but they are a source of those healthy fats that we all need in our diet, especially as the cold season comes along. 

There is a lot to be learned about Squash.  You can read more about it here if you want to expand your knowledge!

Looking at the food psychology of squash it can be a really good food to incorporate if you are struggling with a sweet tooth.  This is the time of year that can be a slippery downhill slope for sweet toothed friends because there is so much good baking, and then Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, and then the winter holidays.  Having a full flavor profile in your meals can help keep your mouth and mind more satisfied and make you less inclined to look for food excitement in the form of candy and baked sweets.  Adding sweet foods like squash to your plate, along with other bold flavors, can lead you to be satisfied and not need more.  If you struggle, make an intention to add more sweet squash and root vegetables to your meals this fall. It could really make a difference for you!  

Use your Squash! 

Squash Soup I
This version is sweet and creamy.
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• 2 large, 3 small winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, or Pumpkin are best)
•  16 oz coconut milk
•  2c vegetable broth
•  1tsp cinnamon
•  ½ tsp allspice
•  1/4c maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350
Slice squash in half, scoop seeds out, and place face down (flat side down) on a baking pan. Bake until soft, about 45 minutes. OR you can bake it whole, then let it cool, then cut it in half when it is more soft. Scoop the seeds out and then scoop out the "meat"
Place scooped out squash in a soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Pour in coconut milk, and 1c vegetable broth. Stir and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or remove from pot and blend in blender or food processor until smooth. Add your spices and remaining cup of broth as needed to bring soup to desired consistency.
Return to pot and add in maple syrup a little at a time to desired sweetness.
Cook on low to medium heat for about 12-15 minutes to let spices merge.

Squash Soup II
Garlic and curry rule this version!
-2 large, 3 small winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, or Pumpkin are best)
-16 oz coconut milk
- 2c vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp red curry paste
- 1tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350

Slice squash in half, scoop seeds out, and place face down (flat side down) on a baking pan. Bake until soft, about 45 minutes. OR you can bake it whole, then let it cool, then cut it in half when it is more soft. Scoop the seeds out and then scoop out the "meat"
Place scooped out squash in a soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Pour in coconut milk, and 1c vegetable broth. Stir and let cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or remove from pot and blend in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pot on stove and add garlic, curry, and remaining cup of broth as needed to bring soup to desired consistency.
Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes to let garlic and curry cook into the soup.
If you are making just this version of the soup and not dividing it to make the sweet version as well, you can add the garlic and curry right at the beginning so that they cook in a deeper flavor.

Quinoa with spiced Butternut Squash and Toasted Seeds
- 2c cooked quinoa
-1 butternut squash
- olive oil
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Dash dried ground cloves


Preheat oven to 350
Cut Squash in half. Scoop out seeds and set aside. Bake squash face down on a baking pan for 45-60 minutes until soft when poked with a fork.
While squash is baking, wash and pat dry the seeds.
In a small sauté pan, dry toast pumpkin seeds over med/high heat- stir frequently. Toast for just 12-3 minutes until browned.
When squash is baked and cooled, scoop out inside, and discard skin. Put squash in a bowl and season with your favorite spices- can be ground cinnamon and cloves can be curry powder, your choice!
Place some Quinoa on plate or in bowl, top with a scoop of squash, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top!

 

Tamara Flanders is a Holistic Health Counselor and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  Her health coaching practice, Your Body Awake, is located in Rexford, NY.  Learn more at her website www.yourbodyawake.com


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