Comfort food at its best! Let this butternut squash fill you with warmth and nutrition from the top of your head to the tips of your fuzzy-sock covered toesrn
Butternut squash, despite its surname being derived from a Native American word that means “eaten raw or uncooked” is a delightful vegetable to roast on a cold winter’s day.
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 cups French cut string beans
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups lentils, cooked + drained
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 pear
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Peel butternut squash, chop off ends, cut lengthwise, widthwise, remove the seeds with a spoon, then chop into bite size chunks
- Spread 2 tablespoons coconut oil on a cookie sheet
- Add lentils, green beans, cranberries, and pecans.
- Drain squash and add to cookie sheet
- Stir in cinnamon and maple syrup
- Bake for 25 minutes
- Remove from oven, stir in pear pieces
- Bake additional 8 minutes
- Remove from heat, allow to cool a few minutes
Benefits of Butternut squash
This winter vegetable is a nutrient powerhouse, offering valuable omega 3 fats that can help reduce inflammation. It is a great source of beta-carotene, potassium, and several antioxidants. Studies have shown it to have insulin-regulating properties. Fun fact: Native Americans used to bury their dead with a butternut squash to provide them “nourishment on their final journey.”
Pecans contain the highest antioxidant capacity of any nut. These antioxidants help boost the immune system and protect the body from things like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, heart disease, and cancer. Pecans contain phosphorus, which strengthen the bones and teeth. They are also packed with nutrients such as vitamin E, Vitamin A, L-arginine, folate, and zinc which all help the skin and hair.
Lentils have earned a reputation because they are an excellent source of lean protein, while being low in fat (18 grams protein, 1 g fat), a serving of lentils provides nearly all the folate, iron, and magnesium we need each day. These nutrients aid in energy metabolism, improve oxygen and blood flow, support nervous system health, and build red blood cells. The fiber present in lentils increases energy, boosts metabolism, aids in digestive health, helps prevent certain kinds of cancer, and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.