Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds (No Oil)

Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds (Without Oil!)

If you’re looking for a way to roast squash seeds without added oil, here it is! This simple method can be applied to any winter squash you want to use, including butternut squash and pumpkin. Also, the seeds can be flavored literally any way you prefer, or they can be left unseasoned. It’s your choice! Below is a video demonstration of how to roast seeds without oil, and the written recipe is below the video. I hope this helps!

Enjoy!
Judi

https://youtu.be/85fGTKGegSU


Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds

1 Acorn squash
Seasoning of choice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wash and cut the stem end off of an acorn squash. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Separate the seeds from the strings. Place the seeds in a small strainer. Rinse the seeds under running water while removing any remaining string membranes. Allow the seeds to drain briefly.

Transfer the rinsed and drained seeds to a dry baking sheet. Sprinkle them with any seasoning of choice. If preferred, they can be left plain. Lightly toss the seeds to disperse the seasoning, then spread the seeds into a single layer on the baking sheet. Place them in the preheated oven until dry, crunchy, and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Occasionally stir the seeds as they roast, loosening them from the pan and turning them over so both sides can brown. When they are lightly browned and crunchy, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Enjoy!

Transfer any leftover cooled seeds to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to one week, or in the refrigerator for one to two months.

Tip: Possible seasonings include salt, garlic salt, paprika, chili powder, cinnamon and sugar, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese, pizza seasoning, dill weed, curry powder and brown sugar, seasoned salt, or any seasoning blend you enjoy!

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash 101 – The Basics

Below is an article all about acorn squash. If you have a question about this delicious squash, you should find your answer below!

Enjoy,
Judi

Acorn Squash 101 – The Basics

About Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a winter squash related to pumpkin and butternut squash, yet it is in the same family as the summer squash zucchini. It is an edible gourd that grows on a vine. Acorn squash is technically a fruit, but we treat it as a vegetable. It has a mild, somewhat sweet flavor. Squash is native to the Americas and is believed to be among the first foods cultivated by Native Americans.

There are different varieties of acorn squash. We typically see the dark green variety in most grocery stores. Other varieties include those that are white, orange, or a blend of all three colors. They are usually available year-round in most grocery stores, but they are freshest and in season in the fall through early winter months.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Acorn squash has a lot to offer nutritionally. A one-cup serving of baked acorn squash has 115 calories, 9 grams of fiber and no fat to speak of. It contains a lot of Vitamins A, C, and B6, thiamin, niacin, and folate. It supplies a lot of minerals including large amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Boosts the Immune System. Acorn squash is very high in Vitamin C, which is critical in supporting a strong immune system. Ample Vitamin C helps the body to produce sufficient white blood cells which are critical in fighting contaminants that enter the body.

Promotes Healthy Eyes and Skin. Acorn squash is exceptionally high in Vitamin A which is valuable in promoting eye and skin health. Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) has been linked to reduced oxidative stress in the eyes, which may help to promote better eyesight. Also, according to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Vitamin A may help to prevent skin damage caused by ultraviolet light.

Boosts Digestive Health. The high fiber content of acorn squash helps to provide bulk in the intestinal tract preventing constipation, promoting healthy bowels. Fiber-rich foods are also known to help prevent colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome. Furthermore, acorn squash has both soluble and insoluble fibers which help to promote the health of our microbiome, increasing our overall gastrointestinal health.

Blood Pressure Regulation: Potassium is a known vasodilator, relaxing blood vessels taking stress off the cardiovascular system. Acorn squash contains a lot of potassium (486 milligrams per cup of squash), helping to keep the cardiovascular system healthy.

Healthy Bones: One cup of cooked acorn squash provides 46 milligrams of calcium, an important mineral in helping to keep our bones strong and healthy.

Improves Glycemic Load. The high fiber content of acorn squash (and all winter squash) improves the glycemic load of a meal. This means the fiber helps to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream after a meal, helping to lower the spike in blood sugar after eating.

Reduced Inflammation. Many of the nutrients in acorn squash act as natural antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammation in the body. Vitamins C and A, along with manganese are in this category.

How to Select an Acorn Squash
When choosing an acorn squash, look for one that feels heavy for its size. The optimal size is between one and three pounds. Larger ones may be dry and stringy. Choose one that feels hard with smooth, dull skin with no soft spots. Ones with shiny skin have been waxed and were most likely picked before they were ripe. A little orange on the skin is fine, but a lot of orange may indicate it may be overripe. Overripe squash may be dry and stringy.

How to Store Acorn Squash
It is best to store uncooked acorn squash in a cool, dark storage area, such as a basement. The ideal storage temperature is between 50 and 55°F. They will keep best when some of the stem remains attached to the squash, which helps to prevent moisture loss. Squash should last up to a month (and sometimes longer) when stored that way. Raw, uncut squash will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, so storing them elsewhere is a better option. Home grown squash may keep well for two to three months (at 50 to 55°F).

Once cut or cooked, acorn squash should be wrapped tightly, stored in the refrigerator, and used within 4 days.

How to Preserve Acorn Squash
Acorn squash should be cooked before being frozen. It may be cooked by any method you prefer. Remove the flesh from the skin, then mash the pulp or leave it in chunks. Place the pulp in an airtight freezer bag or container. Label it with the date and store it in the freezer for up to 10 to 12 months.

How to Prepare Acorn Squash
First remove any labels from the grocery store, then wash the squash. Cut the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and fibers from the center. If desired, to make your squash easier to cut, first pierce the skin in a few places with a knife or fork. Microwave it on high for 2 minutes, then allow it to cool for a few minutes until it can be handled. Then cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and strings, and cook as desired.

Acorn squash may be steamed, boiled, roasted, stuffed, or microwaved until tender. Then scrape the flesh from the skin (if preferred) and use it as desired. The skin is edible, but many people choose not to eat it. The raw flesh can also be cut from the peel, then cooked as desired. Pureed squash may also be used as a pie filling.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Acorn Squash
* When baking cut halves of acorn squash with the skin side down, cut a small slice off the rounded side so they will lay still and not rock around in the baking dish.

* The seeds of acorn squash are edible and can be roasted just as you would roast pumpkin seeds. Remove them from the uncooked squash and separate the seeds from the strings. Rinse, then dry the seeds. Lightly coat the seeds with oil, then spread them on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt or other seasoning, as desired. Roast at 300°F until toasted and fragrant, tossing them every 20 minutes, about an hour. They may be roasted at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time. Just watch them closely so they don’t burn.

* Squash seeds can also be roasted without added oil. Simply remove the seeds from the squash, separate them from the strings, and wash them in cool water. Spread them on a dry baking sheet and sprinkle them with whatever seasoning you desire. Roast them at 350°F until dry and toasted, about 20 to 30 minutes. Allow them to cool, then enjoy!

* Acorn squash has a mild flavor. Those with more orange flesh are sweeter than those with paler flesh.

* For something different, try adding mashed cooked acorn squash in homemade ravioli or between layers of lasagna noodles.

* Try adding cooked acorn squash to soup, especially milk-based soups. It will act as a thickener, making your soup creamy while adding a slightly sweet flavor.

* Here’s a kid-tested way to serve acorn squash…Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and strings and place it cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking dish. Bake at 375 or 400°F until a knife can be inserted through the squash easily, about 30 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and turn the pieces cut side up. Add a little fat of choice (no more than 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, butter, or other fat), and about a tablespoon of apricot preserves into the cavity of each half. Return the squash to the oven and broil until the fat is melted and the squash halves are lightly browned.

* For an easy side dish, mash or puree cooked acorn squash and season with herbs of choice (such as sage or thyme), or add sweetener of choice (such as maple syrup, brown sugar, or even apple juice or apple cider) and a dash of complimentary spice such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.

* Just for the record…the skin of acorn squash IS edible. Whether you want to eat it is up to you. When boiled, the skin will soften and may be more palatable than when cooked other ways. However, when the squash is cooked, the flesh can easily be removed from the peel, so it’s easy to go either way.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well with Acorn Squash
Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, ginger, mint, nutmeg, parsley, pepper, sage, salt, savory, thyme

Foods That Go Well with Acorn Squash
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Almonds, bacon, beans and baked beans, chicken, eggs, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, sausage, walnuts

Vegetables: Bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, chard (Swiss), fennel, garlic, kale, leeks, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, scallions, spinach, sweet potatoes, turnips

Fruits: Apples, apricots (dried), coconut, cranberries (dried), currants, lemon, orange, pears, plums (dried), raisins

Grains and Grain Products: Breadcrumbs, bulgur, corn, quinoa, rice (esp. wild), wheat

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, browned butter, cheese, coconut milk (and other non-dairy milks), ghee, Parmesan cheese, yogurt

Other Foods: Honey, liqueur (i.e. amaretto, Grand Marnier), maple syrup, miso, olive oil, soy sauce, sugar (esp. brown), sweetener (esp. evaporated cane juice), tamari, vanilla, vinegar

Acorn squash has been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Stuffed acorn squash, bread stuffing, pilafs, soups, stews

Suggested Food and Flavor Combos Using Acorn Squash
Add acorn squash to any of the following combinations…

Apples + curry powder
Apples + maple syrup
Cinnamon + olive oil
Corn + potatoes
Cranberries + orange
Ginger + maple syrup + soy sauce
Pecans + quinoa

Recipe Links
Vegetarian Acorn Squash Soup https://www.thespruceeats.com/vegetarian-acorn-squash-soup-3377961

Vegetarian Acorn Squash Recipe with Cornbread Stuffing https://www.thespruceeats.com/acorn-squash-recipe-with-cornbread-stuffing-3377154

Grilled Acorn Squash with Asiago Cheese https://www.thespruceeats.com/acorn-squash-with-asiago-cheese-336597

Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash https://www.thespruceeats.com/vegan-quinoa-stuffed-acorn-squash-recipe-3377024

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash with Beef and Tomatoes https://www.thespruceeats.com/stuffed-squash-with-spiced-beef-and-tomatoes-3062225

Candied Acorn Squash https://www.food.com/recipe/candied-acorn-squash-3983

Parmesan Acorn Squash https://www.food.com/recipe/parmesan-acorn-squash-104134

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash https://www.food.com/recipe/sausage-and-apple-stuffed-acorn-squash-146036

Baked Acorn Squash with Spicy Maple Syrup https://www.food.com/recipe/baked-acorn-squash-with-spicy-maple-syrup-2056

Baked Cranberry Acorn Squash https://www.food.com/recipe/baked-cranberry-acorn-squash-3806?photo=cGhvdG8tNjQ5OTA

Sweet Acorn Squash and Apple Soup https://www.food.com/recipe/sweet-acorn-squash-and-apple-soup-69271

30 Best Acorn Squash Recipes for a Healthy Addition to Your Fall Dinners https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g4685/acorn-squash/

19 Delicious Acorn Squash Recipes that Will Get You Pumped For Fall https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/g4513/acorn-squash-recipes/

Breakfast Baked Acorn Squash with Greek Yogurt, Honey and Pecans https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/breakfast-baked-acorn-squash-greek-yogurt-honey-pecans/

Apple-Maple Acorn Squash Puree https://www.cltampa.com/food-drink/recipes/article/20731048/apple-maple-acorn-squash-puree-and-a-lot-more-apple-recipes#.VeSHpflVhBc

Herb Roasted Parmesan Acorn Squash https://therealfoodrds.com/herb-roasted-parmesan-acorn-squash/

 

Resources
https://www.thespruceeats.com/acorn-squash-facts-selection-and-storage-1807486

https://www.thespruceeats.com/acorn-squash-selection-and-storage-1807731

https://www.thespruceeats.com/oven-toasted-pumpkin-seeds-recipe-1809633

https://www.thespruceeats.com/acorn-squash-cooking-tips-1808026

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/healthy-acorn-squash-2836.html

https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Acorn_Squash_4383.php

https://foodfacts.mercola.com/acorn-squash.html

http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

https://www.medicaldaily.com/acorn-squash-health-benefits-will-surprise-442347

https://producemadesimple.ca/what-goes-well-with-acorn-squash/

https://www.myrecipes.com/ingredients/can-you-eat-the-skin-on-all-types-of-squash

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/73843/baked-acorn-squash-with-apricot-preserves/

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.


About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Sauteed Beet Greens and Stems with Garlic

Sauteed Beet Greens and Stems with Garlic

A lot of people discard the beet greens when using fresh beets. However, they are totally edible and delicious. They taste like beets! So, if you want to give them a try and are not sure how to cook them, below is a video demonstration on how to easily and quickly cook up some delicious beet greens and stems. The written recipe is below the video. Give it a try sometime…it’s worth it! I hope this helps!

Enjoy,
Judi

Sautéed Beet Greens and Stems with Garlic
Makes 2 to 3 Servings

1 Bunch of Beet Greens
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Water, vegetable broth, or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste, or other seasonings of choice
1 Tbsp Lemon juice or vinegar, optional (see “Tip” below)

Remove the stems from the beets, leaving about 2 inches still attached to the beets. Discard any old, wilted, or discolored leaves or stems. Wash the greens and stems. Cut them into bite size pieces, placing the stems and leaves in separate bowls.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of vegetable broth, water or oil. Add the chopped garlic and prepared stem pieces. Add salt, pepper or any seasonings, as desired. Stir-steam the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until the stems are crisp-tender. Add more liquid as needed to keep the vegetables from burning.

Add the greens and stir-steam until they are wilted and as tender as you like. Two or three minutes may be enough. Add a little more liquid or seasonings as needed while the greens cook. Only add enough liquid to keep the vegetables from burning. When the vegetables are as tender as you like, remove them from the heat and serve.

Tip: If leafy greens taste bitter to you, drizzle a little lemon juice or vinegar over your cooked greens before serving. Up to one tablespoon should be enough to reduce bitterness without giving them a lemony flavor.

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Beets

Beets 101 – How to Freeze Beets

If you have an abundance of fresh beets, you may want to freeze them so they’ll keep for later. The process is not hard, but it does take a little effort. Below is a video demonstrating how to freeze fresh beets. The steps are outlined below the video. I hope this helps!

Enjoy,
Judi

https://youtu.be/s_Pw1dq0TqI

Steps to freeze fresh beets:

  1. Cut off the stems, leaving about 2 inches attached to the beet. Do not cut off the tap root.
  2. Wash the beets, and do not peel them.
  3. Put your washed beets in a pot and cover them with water, like you would boil a whole potato.
  4. Boil the beets until they are tender, until a sharp knife can be easily inserted into the beet.
  5. Transfer the beets from the boiling water to a bowl of cold water. Allow them to stay there until they are completely cooled.
  6. Remove the beets from the cold water and place them on a cutting board or plate (a plate may be preferred since the beets may stain a cutting board).
  7. Cut off the stems and tap root. Remove the skin, either with a paring knife, or by gently rubbing the beet with your fingers.
  8. Cut the beets into desired size pieces and lay them so they don’t overlap on a parchment paper-lined tray or baking sheet.
  9. Place the tray in the freezer and allow the beets to freeze. This may take about an hour.
  10. Transfer the frozen beets to a freezer bag or container. Label them with the current date and use them within one year, for best quality. They will be edible beyond that, but the quality may deteriorate.

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Beets

Beets 101 – The Basics

The following is a comprehensive article all about beets. If you need to know a little something about beets, you should find the answer here, from what they are and their health benefits, to how to select, store and prepare them, to tips for using them, to what goes with them, to suggested recipe ideas, and more! Read on…

Enjoy!
Judi

Beets 101 – The Basics

About Beets
Beets are root vegetables with a deep, colorful round or oblong root, with long, stems growing upward with bright green leaves at the top. All parts of the plant are edible. Beets are in the same plant family as Swiss chard and their leaves resemble Swiss chard in both taste and texture. The beets we typically find in grocery stores are a rich, reddish-purple color, but they can also be found with white, golden/yellow, and even rainbow color roots.

Beet roots appear to be hardy since they can be hard to cut, but they bruise and puncture easily. This causes their colorful pigments (which are healthful phytonutrients) to leach out when cooked. So, it is helpful to treat beet roots as a delicate food, even though they appear to be hardy.

Beets have a high sugar content which makes them an important source for sugar in the sweetener industry. However, the beets used for sugar consumption are a different variety then what we typically purchase in the store.

Beets roots may be eaten cooked or raw. Raw beet roots have a crunchy texture that becomes soft and buttery when they are cooked. Beet roots are more often eaten cooked than raw. They are the main ingredient in the eastern European soup, borscht. In many areas, beets are available year-round, but they are in season from June through October.

Beet greens have an earthy, somewhat bitter flavor, like that of Swiss chard. Beet greens are delicious and can be eaten raw or prepared like Swiss chard, spinach, or any other delicate leafy green vegetable. They are rich in nutrients including many vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Beets
Beet roots are rich in folate, manganese, potassium, copper, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin C, iron, and Vitamin B6. One cup of cooked, sliced beets has 75 calories.

One cup of cooked beet greens is high in Vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, folate and pantothenic acid. They are also rich in potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. One cup of cooked beet greens has only 39 calories. That’s a big nutritional boost for so few calories. So, don’t toss the greens!

Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Detoxification Effects. Beet roots are rich in colorful pigments and other compounds (betaine, betalains, nitrates, and others) that offer many health benefits. Researchers have found that betaine is used in many cellular functions and protects cells against oxidative stress which can damage cells. Betalains, which give beets their rich color, have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification effects. The nitrates in beets help to relax and expand blood vessels, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

Possible Anti-Cancer Effects. Preliminary lab studies with human cells have shown that the compounds in beets may have anti-cancer benefits, helping to protect us from colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate, and testicular cancers. Large-scale human studies still need to be conducted, but future research may verify that beets may be protective against cancer.

Glycemic Load. Beets are known to have a high sugar content, and some people avoid eating them for this reason. Even though beets have more sugar than other root vegetables, their effect on blood sugar is countered by their high fiber, which slows the sugar’s absorption into the bloodstream. Because of the fiber content, when included in a meal, beets are considered to have a low glycemic load, so they should not be of concern for most people.

Don’t Toss the Greens! Beet greens are also worth mentioning for their high nutritional value. Many people toss them away, but they are completely edible and very nutritious, so enjoy them as a side dish, added to stir-fry vegetables or toss them in a salad or soup! Beet greens are rich in many nutrients, as stated earlier. One cup of beet greens provides about 2400 International Units of beta-carotene (a Vitamin A precursor) that is linked to eye and skin health, and a reduced risk of breast cancer.

Possible concerns…

Beeturia. Beeturia is an uncommon condition where urine turns a reddish color after the consumption of beet roots. This is not a harmful condition and should not be of concern. About 5 to 15% of American adults experience this condition. People with problems metabolizing iron are more prone to this condition. If you experience beeturia and suspect you are deficient in iron, or have an iron overload or problems utilizing iron, consult your doctor regarding your condition.

It is also possible for stool to be reddish after beet consumption. This condition is more common in children than adults. It is not harmful.

Oxalates. Beets are known to be high in oxalates, naturally occurring acids found in many foods. Oxalates play a supportive role in the metabolism of many foods, but some people experience problems when ingesting a lot of them. When combined with a high level of calcium in the body, oxalates may promote the formation of kidney stones in some people. If you have problems utilizing oxalates, it may be wise to limit the amount of beets you include in your diet.

How to Select Fresh Beets
Look for fresh beets that are small to medium in size, are firm and smooth-skinned, and have a deep color. Smaller beet roots will be more tender than larger ones. Avoid beet roots that are soft, with bruises or spots, or have wet areas. Such problems indicate spoilage. Older beet roots may be shriveled and will be tough and fibrous. Beets larger than 3 inches in diameter will be touch and fibrous.

If you plan to eat the beet greens (which are delicious in themselves), look for those that appear fresh, tender, and have a bright green color.

How to Store Beets
If your fresh beets still have leaves/stems attached, cut the leaves with most of the stems away from the root. Leaving about 2 inches of stems still attached helps to keep the beet roots from bleeding during cooking. Also, do not cut roots attached to the beet itself. Store your beet roots, unwashed, wrapped in a dry cloth or paper towel, placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They should keep for about 10 days, up to 3 weeks.

Store unwashed beet greens wrapped in a dry cloth or paper towel, placed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator. Use them within four days.

How to Prepare Beets
Beet Roots. Wash your beet roots by gently rinsing them under running water. Wearing kitchen gloves can help to keep your hands from getting stained. Trim the stems from the bulb, leaving about 2 inches of the stems attached. Do not trim roots away from the bulb.

Beets may be eaten raw, shredded for salads. They can also be enjoyed cooked by boiling, steaming, stir-steaming, or roasting them. They can be peeled before or after being cooked. Leaving the peel on and roots attached while being cooked can help to keep their colorful pigments from leaching into the cooking liquid. After being cooked, the peels should easily slip off. An easy way to prepare them for steaming is to cut the beet root into quarters, leaving 2 inches of tap root and one or two inches of stems attached. The skin can be removed after the pieces are cooked.

It is important to note that the colorful, healthy pigments that give beets their rich color, are water-soluble and leach out during the cooking process. To help preserve these important compounds, it is recommended that beets be cooked for the least amount of time possible, and with one or two inches of stems still attached, along with the roots.

Beet Greens: Prepare beet greens as you would any other tender leafy green, such as Swiss chard. Simply wash the greens and cut or tear them as desired. They can be eaten raw, sautéed in a small amount of olive oil and garlic, or stir-steamed in a little vegetable broth or water. Season with salt and pepper and some red pepper flakes, if desired. Finish them with a splash of white wine, lemon juice, or vinegar. The added acidic ingredient at the end will brighten the flavor and make them even more inviting.

How to Freeze Beets
Choose fresh, tender beets that are small to medium size. Buying them all about the same size will allow them to cook within the same time frame. Cut off the leaves and stems, leaving about an inch or two attached to the beet. Leave the roots attached. Leaving some of the stems attached and the roots intact helps to keep the beets from bleeding during the cooking process.

Wash your beets well to remove any dirt or debris. Do not peel them yet. Fill a pot with water and add the beets. Bring everything to a boil, and cook anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. They are done when they are fork tender. When they are cooked, transfer them to a bowl of ice water and allow them to cool completely. Then remove the tops, roots, and skins, which should practically slip off with your fingers. Cut the beets into desired size pieces. Lay them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Place them in the freezer until completely frozen. Transfer your frozen beets to a freezer bag or container and remove as much air as possible. Beets have a high water content, so they will keep best in an air-tight container with as little air as possible. Label the container and return them to the freezer. Beets will keep well for about one year. They will be edible beyond that, but their quality may decline thereafter.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Beets
* If your hands get stained when preparing beets, rub them with some lemon juice and the stains should come off.

* If your countertop or floor get stained with beet juice, clean them with some well-diluted bleach and the stain should come off.

* When buying fresh beets, be sure to remove the stems and leaves from the beet roots before storing them, leaving about one to two inches of stems still attached to the bulb. Leaving the leaves attached will cause the roots to go bad faster. Also, leave the roots attached to the bulb, which will help to preserve the color during the cooking process.

* Raw beet roots can be grated and sprinkled on salads for a flavor, crunch, and color boost.

* Beet greens can be stir-steamed quickly in a small amount of vegetable broth or water. This makes a very fast, easy, delicious, and nutritious side dish to go with just about any meal.

* In case you’re wondering, the beets we buy in the store have not been genetically modified. However, beets used for sugar production have been modified. So, if you’re avoiding genetically modified foods, you should be aware of this.

* One way to roast beets while keeping them tender is to wrap them in foil before roasting. That will allow the sugars to caramelize while the foil locks in the moisture, keeping them moist and tender. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the stems from the bulb, leaving one to two inches of stems still attached. Cut roots back, leaving an inch or two still attached to the bulb. Scrub the beet well to remove any dirt or debris. Place your prepared beets on a large sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle them with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, or as desired. Fold the foil and crimp the edges, wrapping them together in a foil packet. Bake them for 40 to 60 minutes, until tender. Test by poking them with a knife through the foil packet. When tender, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool in the foil packet. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins.

* Another way to roast beets is to leave the roots attached and cut the stems off, leaving about 2 inches still attached to the beet root. Wash the beets to remove any dirt or debris. Place them in a casserole dish that has a lid. Add a little water to the dish with your prepared beets. Cover the dish and roast them at 425°F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender. Allow them to cool, then cut off the roots and stems, and slip off the skins. Serve as a side dish, season them with a vinaigrette dressing, or add them to soup.

* Try dressing diced roasted beets with a little lemon juice and yogurt.

* Top cubed, roasted beets with a mustard vinaigrette dressing and serve with your favorite green salad.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well with Beets
Allspice, anise, basil, bay leaf, capers, caraway seeds, cardamom, chervil, chili pepper flakes, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill, fennel seeds, ginger, lemongrass, mace, marjoram, mint, mustard powder, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, poppy seeds, sage, salt, savory, star anise, tarragon, thyme

Foods That Go Well with Beets
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Beans, beef, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, duck, edamame, eggs (esp. hard boiled), fish, lentils, nuts (esp. hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts), poppy seeds, pork, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, tofu

Vegetables: Arugula, asparagus, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celery root, Swiss chard, chili peppers, chives, cucumbers, endive, fennel, garlic, greens, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, sea vegetables, shallots, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, other root vegetables, wakame (seaweed), watercress

Fruits: Apples, apple juice, avocado, blackberries, citrus fruits and juice, cranberries, dried fruit, grapefruit, kumquats, lemon, lime, mangoes, olives, orange, pears, pomegranate, raisins, watermelon

Grains and Grain Products: Breads (dark and rye), couscous, grains (in general), pasta, quinoa

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, buttermilk, cheese (esp. blue, feta, goat, Parmesan, ricotta), cream, crème fraiche, mascarpone, milk, sour cream, yogurt

Other Foods: Agave nectar, chocolate, cocoa, honey, horseradish, lavender, maple syrup, mayonnaise, oil, soy sauce, stock (vegetable), sugar (esp. brown), vinaigrette, vinegar (esp. balsamic, cider, red wine, sherry, white balsamic, white wine), wasabi, wine (dry red)

Beets have been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Baked goods (i.e. cakes), chips, chutneys, crudités, desserts, falafel, hash (i.e. red flannel), juices (i.e. beets, carrots, celery), relishes, risottos, Russian cuisine, salads, soups, stews, tartares, veggie burgers

Suggested Food and Flavor Combos Including Beets
Add beets to any of the following combinations…

Arugula + feta cheese + balsamic vinegar + walnuts
Avocado + orange
Balsamic vinegar + blackberries
Balsamic vinegar + carrots + chives + greens
Balsamic vinegar + chives + parsley + red onions
Balsamic vinegar + fennel + oranges
Beet greens + dill + lemon + yogurt
Cheese + fruit + greens + nuts
Crème fraiche + dill + orange
Fennel + ginger + yogurt
Fennel + orange + watercress + yogurt
Garlic + olive oil + parsley
Ginger + mint + orange
Horseradish + pistachios + ricotta
Orange juice/zest + wine vinegar + walnut oil + walnuts
Pistachios + watercress + yogurt

Recipe Links

Best Beet Recipes https://www.thespruceeats.com/variety-of-beet-recipes-3061445

Easy and Delicious Roast Beetroot https://www.thespruceeats.com/go-to-easy-roast-beetroot-recipe-435699

How to Freeze Blanched or Roasted Beets https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-freeze-beets-3051456

Balsamic Roasted Beets https://joyfoodsunshine.com/roasted-beets/

Twenty of our Best Beet Recipes https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/our-best-beet-recipes/

34 Beet Recipes for Roasting, Frying and More https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/roast-em-fry-em-grate-em-38-ways-cook-eat-beets

10 Favorite Beet Recipes https://www.acouplecooks.com/beet-recipes/

How to Cook Beets (4 Easy Methods) https://www.jessicagavin.com/how-to-cook-beets/

16 of the Best Every Beet Recipes https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/beet-recipes

Tasty Roasted Beets https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/218185/tasty-roasted-beets/

30 Delicious Beet Recipes https://theinspiredhome.com/articles/your-heart-will-beet-for-these-delicious-recipes?gclid=CjwKCAjwmrn5BRB2EiwAZgL9okVTYz_52IW3bRrbYWWtKI8t3UpOPftrMPRBq09GgPvYYRdpad9RjRoCo0IQAvD_BwE

 

Resources
https://producemadesimple.ca/what-goes-well-with-beets/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=48

https://www.consumerreports.org/healthy-eating/are-beets-good-for-you/

https://food52.com/blog/437-the-best-way-to-cook-beets

https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/food-group-superfoods-vegetables-part-5/

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2353/2

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2349/2

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/preserving_beets

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-freeze-beets-1388386

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Rosemary

Rosemary 101 – The Basics

The following is a complete article about the herb rosemary, from what it is, to its health benefits, to how to prepare, preserve, and use it, to tips, ideas, and suggested recipes using rosemary, AND more! If you need information about this popular herb, hopefully you’ll find it here.

Enjoy!
Judi

Rosemary 101 – The Basics

About Rosemary
Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is a small evergreen bush with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. The bush produces white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. It is a member of the mint family. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region.

Rosemary has a pine-like fragrance and flavor that is balanced by a rich pungency. It has been used to flavor food since at least 500 B.C., and is still highly favored by many chefs today. Additionally, rosemary has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties. It is believed to stimulate and strengthen memory. In the 16th and 17th centuries, rosemary became popular as a digestive aid. Today, researchers are focusing on the beneficial compounds in rosemary and are uncovering even more benefits from this ever-popular herb.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary is a good source of Vitamin A.

It also contains compounds that help to stimulate the immune system, increase circulation, and improve digestion. Anti-inflammatory compounds in rosemary appear to help reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Rosemary has also been shown to increase blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration, which explains its age-old usage for improving memory.

How to Select Rosemary
The flavor of fresh rosemary is considered to be better than that of the dried herb, so most chefs will recommend fresh over the dried form.  Fresh rosemary is often sold in small bunches in sealed plastic packages in the produce section of many grocery stores. Look for sprigs that aren’t wilted, dried out, moldy, or discolored.

If you prefer dried herbs, most grocery stores carry dried rosemary in the spice isle of the store.

How to Store Rosemary
Storing Fresh Rosemary. To keep your fresh rosemary sprigs from drying out, wrap them loosely in a slightly damp paper towel or cloth, place it in a plastic bag or storage container, and store it in the refrigerator. Wrapping the sprigs tightly may invite mold, so be sure you wrap them loosely to allow some air around them. Rosemary should keep fresh for one to three weeks, depending on how long it has been since it was harvested.

Storing Dried Rosemary. Store dried rosemary in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place.

How to Preserve Fresh Rosemary
Fresh rosemary may be stored in the freezer, either in ice cubes or as individual sprigs. It may also be dried, although the drying process does reduce some of the flavor. When using dried rosemary in place of fresh rosemary, use 1/4th to 1/3rd of the amount called for in a recipe.

Ice Cube Method. Remove the leaves from the stems, and chop them as desired. Place the prepared rosemary leaves in ice cube trays in desired amounts. Fill the trays with water and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or container. When needed, place a cube or two in whatever food, soup, or stew as you’re cooking. Use within 4 to 6 months.

Freeze Individual Sprigs. To freeze individual rosemary sprigs, first wash and dry them well. Then spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until frozen. Transfer them to a freezer bag or container and return them to the freezer. Use within 4 to 6 months.

Dehydrating Rosemary. Wash and dry your fresh rosemary sprigs. Place them in a single layer on food dehydrator trays and return the trays to the dehydrator. Set the dehydrator for a very low setting, usually 95 to 115°F, as indicated in the owner’s manual of your dehydrator. Dry the rosemary until the leaves are dry and brittle. The owner’s manual of your dehydrator should give you suggested drying times for herbs. Remove the leaves from the stems, and discard the stems. Store your dehydrated rosemary leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Properly stored dried rosemary will keep indefinitely, but the flavor will dwindle after one or two years.

Oven Dried Rosemary. Wash and dry your fresh rosemary sprigs. Place them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place them in the oven at the lowest temperature possible. If you have a gas oven, the pilot light may provide enough heat to dry the springs. Allow them to bake until they are dry, brittle, and the leaves easily fall off the stems. The process can take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 or 2 days, depending upon the oven temperature and humidity level in your area. If your oven will not operate at a very low temperature (such as below 170°F), it may be necessary to leave the oven door open about 2 or 3 inches to keep the temperature down during the drying process. Once they are dry, remove the leaves from the stems. Store your dried rosemary leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Properly stored dried rosemary will keep indefinitely, but the flavor will dwindle after one or two years.

Hanging Rosemary to Dry. Rinse and pat your rosemary sprigs dry. Tie sprigs together at the base of the stems with twine or a rubber band. Hang them upside down in a well-ventilated, dry area. To keep the herb clean during the process, they can be covered with a paper bag by poking the cut ends of the stems through the bottom of a paper bag then hang them upside down. Or hang the sprigs upside down within a paper bag that has some holes punched into it. This allows air to reach the sprigs while keeping dust from settling on them as they dry. Allow them to dry for about 2 weeks, or until the leaves are dry, brittle, and can be removed easily from the stems. Check them regularly to be sure they have not gotten moldy or infested with insects. The drying process may take about two weeks. When they are dry, separate the leaves from the stems and store the leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Discard the stems. Store your dried rosemary leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Properly stored dried rosemary will keep indefinitely, but the flavor will dwindle after one or two years.

Microwave Drying Rosemary. The microwave can be used to quickly dry fresh rosemary if you’re in a hurry and need dried rosemary right away or don’t want to take a lot of time to dry the sprigs. Rinse and dry your fresh rosemary sprigs. Spread them out on a layer of paper towels on a microwave safe dish or tray. Place them in the microwave and cover them with another layer of paper towels. Microwave on high for one minute, then for 20 seconds at a time until they are dry enough to be crumbled. Separate the leaves from the stems. Discard the stems. Use the leaves as needed or allow them to cool. Store your dried rosemary leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Properly stored dried rosemary will keep indefinitely, but the flavor will dwindle after one or two years.

How to Prepare Fresh Rosemary
Simply rinse rosemary sprigs under cool water and shake or pat dry. They may also be swished around in a bowl of cool water. The leaves can easily be removed from the stems by grasping the tip of the stem with one hand, then grasp the stem with fingers of the other hand and gently push your fingers along the stem, removing the leaves as you push upward. Whole sprigs may be added to soups, stews, and meat dishes. Just remember to remove the sprigs before serving.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Rosemary
* When storing fresh rosemary, wait to wash it until you’re ready to use it. Washing it in advance may invite mold.

* Add fresh rosemary to omelets and frittatas.

* Try adding rosemary to tomato sauce and soups.

* Make a dipping sauce for bread by combining pureed fresh rosemary leaves with olive oil.

* Mince rosemary leaves if not using whole sprigs. The leaves are needle-like and will remain tough even after being cooked.

* The flavor of rosemary is strong. When adding it to a dish, use less rather than more. You can always add more if desired.

* Because the flavor of rosemary is strong, it pairs especially well with strong-flavored meats such as goat and lamb.

* When adding whole rosemary sprigs to a cooked dish, be sure to remove them before serving. The stems will remain tough, and could possibly be a choking hazard.

* The flavor of dried rosemary is concentrated. Dried rosemary will continue to release its essential oils and flavors while being cooked. Excessive cooking may make it bitter. So, using it in moderation may help to avoid bitterness or an overpowering flavor from the dried herb.

* If a recipe calls for fresh rosemary and you only have dried, use one-fourth to one-third of the amount called for when substituting dried for fresh.

* If a recipe calls for adding one sprig of fresh rosemary and you only have dried, assume that one sprig equals one teaspoon of leaves. When converting that to dried, use 1/4th to 1/3rd teaspoon.

Herbs and Spices That Go Well with Rosemary
Bay leaf, fennel seeds, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, pepper, sage, thyme

Foods That Go Well with Rosemary
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Beans (esp. cannellini, fava, green, white), chicken, eggs, lamb, lentils, peas (split), pine nuts, pork, salmon, tofu, tuna

Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chives, eggplant, fennel, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, radicchio, scallions, shallots, spinach, squash (summer and winter), sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and tomato juice, vegetables (in general), zucchini

Fruits: Apples, apricots, citrus fruits, figs, poached fruit, grapefruit, grapes, lemon, lime, olives, orange, pears, pumpkins, strawberries

Grains and Grain Products: Barley, bread crumbs, grains (in general), polenta, quinoa, rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, cheese (esp. cheddar, cream, feta, goat, Parmesan, ricotta), cream, milk, yogurt

Other Foods: Gin, honey, oil (esp. olive), sherry, vinegar, wine

Rosemary has been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Baked goods (breads, cakes, cookies, focaccia, scones, shortbread), bouquet garni, desserts, egg dishes, French cuisine, grilled foods, herbes de Provence, Italian cuisine, kebobs, marinades, Mediterranean cuisines, pasta dishes, pizza, risotto, salad dressings, salads, sauces, soups, stews, stock, stuffing, tomato sauce

Suggested Food and Flavor Combos Using Rosemary
Add rosemary to any of the following combinations…

Balsamic Vinegar + Shallots
Balsamic Vinegar + Spinach
Butter + Lemon
Feta Cheese + Spinach
Garlic + Lemon + Olive Oil + White Beans
Garlic + Olive Oil + Potatoes
Honey + Orange
Lemon + Tofu
Lemon + White Beans
Mushrooms + Thyme
Onions + Potatoes
Oregano + Thyme
Parmesan Cheese + Polenta
Parmesan Cheese + Tomatoes + White Beans

Recipe Links
Rosemary Infused Olive Oil https://www.thespruceeats.com/rosemary-infused-oil-recipe-1327885

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/rosemary-roasted-potatoes-recipe-1943124

38 Recipes Packed and Perfumed with Rosemary https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/12-ways-to-love-rosemary-gallery

40 Fresh Rosemary Recipes https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/fresh-rosemary-recipes/

12 Ways to Cook with Fresh Rosemary Tonight https://www.brit.co/rosemary-dinner-recipes/

Rosemary Chicken https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/rosemary-chicken/

17 Fragrant Rosemary Recipes https://www.foodandwine.com/seasonings/rosemary

39 Delicious Things to Do With Rosemary https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/delicious-things-to-do-with-leftover-rosemary

Vegan Dijon Rosemary Sheet Pan Dinner https://www.rabbitandwolves.com/vegan-dijon-rosemary-sheet-pan-dinner/

Rosemary Recipes https://cookieandkate.com/tag/rosemary/

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/roasted-cauliflower-and-brussels-sprouts

Mushroom-Rosemary Pot Roast (vegetarian) https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/mushroom-rosemary-pot-roast-recipe

Seared Tofu with Kale and Whole-Grain Mustard https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/seared-tofu-with-kale-and-whole-grain-mustard-recipe


Resources
https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-rosemary-3050513

https://www.spiceography.com/how-to-store-rosemary/

https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-to-dry-rosemary-step-by-step-article

https://www.dryingallfoods.com/drying-rosemary/

https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-store-fresh-rosemary/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=75

https://www.spiceography.com/cooking-with-rosemary/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-rosemary-1328643

https://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/ingredients-101-select-store-prep-fresh-herbs-0157486/

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy 101 – The Basics

Bok choy is a delicious cruciferous leafy green vegetable that is often included in Asian stir-fries. Yet, there are many ways to use bok choy beyond that. Read on to get plenty of ideas and information about this wonderful, often underutilized vegetable.

Enjoy!
Judi

Bok Choy 101 – The Basics

About Bok Choy
Bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable that has been given a variety of names: Bok Choy, Pak Choi, Chinese Cabbage, White Cabbage, Mustard Cabbage, Celery Cabbage, Peking’s Cabbage, and Chinese White Cabbage, among others. It is not to be confused with Napa cabbage, which is sometimes also referred to as Chinese cabbage. They are two different varieties of cruciferous vegetables. Unlike other vegetables in the cruciferous family, bok choy does not form a “head.” Instead, the stalks are elongated with leaves loosely clustering toward the top half of the plant. The size can range anywhere from 4 to 12 inches tall.

There are many varieties of bok choy, including those with different colors, some with green stalks and others with purple leaves. The common variety available in the United States has slightly flattened white stalks with spoon-shaped green leaves.

Bok choy has been cultivated in China for over 5,000 years, and has been grown in North America for over 100 years. Most North American bok choy is grown in Mexico, with some also grown in Canada and the United States in California, Arizona, and Texas.

Bok choy has a mild flavor, with the leaves and stalks all being edible. It has a mild flavor, sometimes with a slight sweetness in the stalks. It can be eaten raw, but only in moderation, especially if you have hypothyroidism. (Excessive raw cruciferous vegetables may hinder thyroid activity.) Bok choy can also be enjoyed steamed, stir-fried, braised, grilled, roasted, stewed, and even added to soups. When cooked for a short length of time, bok choy will have a bit of a crisp texture. Extended cooking gives boy choy a creamy texture.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Bok Choy
Bok choy is an excellent source of Vitamins K, C, and A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium, folate, Vitamin B6, calcium, and manganese. It is also a very good source of iron, Vitamin B2, phosphorus, fiber, and protein. It also contains choline, magnesium, niacin, Vitamin B1, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and pantothenic acid. Bok choy also contains a number of flavonoids and antioxidants. One cup of raw, shredded bok choy has a mere 9 calories, with about 20 calories in 1 cup of cooked bok choy.

Since bok choy is a leafy green cruciferous vegetable, it’s packed with health benefits.

Fights inflammation and oxidative stress. Bok choy contains a number of antioxidants that are known to fight inflammation and protect cells throughout the body. It is an exceptionally good source of quercetin, a flavonoid with antioxidant properties. According to WebMD, quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which might help reduce inflammation, kill cancer cells, control blood sugar, and help prevent heart disease.

Reduces risk of heart disease. Researchers have found a link between leafy green cruciferous vegetables and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. A research study found that people who consumed more of these vegetables showed a 15% lower rate of cardiovascular disease.

Fights cancer. Cruciferous vegetables have anti-cancer properties. Studies suggest that eating more cruciferous vegetables helps to protect against various cancers, including prostate, lung, breast, and colorectal cancers.

Low in FODMAPs. FODMAPS are specific types of carbohydrates called “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols. People with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease often find relief of symptoms when they eat diets low in such carbohydrates. Bok choy is low in these factors and are permitted on a low-FODMP diet.

Non-dairy calcium. Bok choy is an excellent source of calcium, with 158 mg in one cup of cooked bok choy. This can be an important source of dietary calcium for those who do not consume dairy products.

Vitamin K. Bok choy is rich in Vitamin K, a nutrient that is needed for proper blood clotting. Those who take blood thinners may need to regulate the amount of Vitamin K-rich foods they eat so their blood clotting function stays within normal limits. If you are on such medications, consult with your doctor before increasing the amount of bok choy you eat.

How to Select Bok Choy
Choose bok choy with firm, brightly colored leaves, and moist, sturdy stems. The leaves should not be wilted and be without browning, yellowing, and small holes. The heads can be small to very large. In most places, bok choy is available year-round, but its growing peak is from the middle of winter to early Spring.

How to Store Bok Choy
Most resources suggest storing bok choy, unwashed, in a loose (or perforated) plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It should be used within a few days, but may keep up to 1 week.

How to Freeze Bok Choy
Remove the stalks from the base and wash them well to remove any dirt or debris. Cut the stalks and leaves into desired size pieces. Bring a large pot of water to boil, then place the prepared bok choy into the boiling water. Set the timer right away for 2 minutes. When the time is up, or when the leaves turn a very bright green, remove your bok choy from the boiling water and immediately transfer it into a bowl of ice water. Leave it there for 2 or 3 minutes until it is completely chilled. Drain it well and dry the leaves as much as you can with a clean cloth or paper towel. There are two ways to store your blanched bok choy in the freezer:

(1) Place your prepared bok choy in a freezer bag or container. Remove as much air as possible, and if it is in a bag, flatten the bag and lay it on its size in the freezer.

(2) If you prefer your bok choy pieces to be frozen separately so it’s not in a big lump, spread your blanched/dried bok choy on a waxed paper or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours, until the vegetable pieces are completely frozen. Then transfer them to your desired freezer container and return them to the freezer.

Properly frozen blanched bok choy will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.  It will be safe to eat beyond that, but the quality may decline with age.

How to Prepare Bok Choy
Small, baby bok choy can be cut in half lengthwise, then washed and drained before being cooked. Larger heads should have stalks removed from the base, either individually or by cutting across the base of the head, removing all stalks at once. Rinse them well either under running water or in a tub of water to ensure any dirt has been removed. Drain excess water off, then cut as needed for your recipe.

Quick Tips and Ideas for Using Bok Choy
* For a quick and easy side dish, stir-steam bok choy, snow peas and mushrooms in a small amount of vegetable broth. Season as desired (aromatics like onions, garlic and ginger would work well). A small drizzle of soy sauce or tamari would blend well with these vegetables.

* The bok choy stalks can have a slight sweetness to them. Try adding some raw bok choy to a green salad.

* For an easy side dish, slice baby bok choy lengthwise and braise it in a mixture of your favorite stock, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle it with a little sesame oil for added flavor and garnish.

* Use bok choy leaves on a sandwich in place of lettuce.

* If you like to fill celery sticks with things like nut butter, cream cheese, or guacamole, try filling bok choy stems with those things instead.

* Try grilling halves of baby bok choy. Cut them lengthwise, wash and drain them, and drizzle with a little oil and a sprinkling of salt.

* Add thin shreds of bok choy leaves as a last-minute garnish to soup.

* Bok choy is often eaten stir-fried with a little soy sauce and garlic. If you’re new to bok choy, this is a great way to start enjoying it! Simply heat a little oil in a wok or frying pan. Add aromatics of choice (such as garlic, onion, and/or minced ginger), and stir-fry for 3 to 8 minutes until it is crisp-tender. Drizzle with a little soy sauce and enjoy!

* Try braised bok choy for something a little different. Chop the bok choy into bite-size pieces and heat it in a pan with some broth of choice. Add aromatics as desired (garlic, onion, ginger, chili paste). Cover and simmer up to 20 minutes, until the vegetable is as tender as you want. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil for added flavor, and enjoy!

* Try roasted bok choy, by chopping the leaves and stems into bite-size pieces. Drizzle with some oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss the pieces to coat them, then spread them on a baking sheet. Roast them anywhere from 350F to 425F for up to 20 minutes, until the leaves are tender and starting to brown.

* Baby bok choy is more tender and a bit sweeter than its full-grown counterpart. It can be cooked whole, sliced in half lengthwise, or with the stalks separated, like you would the larger variety.

* Note that the leaves of bok choy will cook faster than the stems, so add the leaves later in cooking if you don’t want them to overcook.

* To quickly and easily remove stalks from bok choy, simply cut across the root end about 1 inch or so up from the bottom. Discard the bottom end. The stalks will easily separate.

* Besides cooking bok choy with aromatics such as garlic, onions, and ginger, the flavor can further be enhanced by adding any combination of soy sauce, vegetable broth, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and chili flakes.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well with Bok Choy
Cardamom, chili pepper flakes, cilantro, cinnamon, curry powder, five-spice powder, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, salt, turmeric

Foods That Go Well with Bok Choy
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Almonds, beans (esp. black beans), beef, cashews, chicken, peanuts and peanut sauce, pork, seafood, soybeans, tahini, tofu

Vegetables: Bell peppers (esp. red), broccoli, broccoli rabe, cabbage (esp. Napa and purple), carrots, cauliflower, celery, chiles, greens, leeks, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, scallions, shallots, sprouts (bean), squash (esp. butternut), turnips, water chestnuts, zucchini

Fruits: Lemon, lime

Grains and Grain Products: Noodles, quinoa, rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Coconut milk

Other Foods: Chili paste, chili sauce, mirin (a type of rice wine), miso (fermented soybeans), oil (esp. olive, peanut, sesame), soy sauce, stock (i.e. mushroom, vegetable), sugar (brown), tamari, tempeh, vinaigrette, vinegar, wine (esp. dry sherry)

Bok choy has been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Asian cuisines, casseroles, Chinese cuisine, curries, salads, slaws, soups, stews, stir-fries, Thai cuisine

Suggested Flavor Combos Using Bok Choy
Add bok choy to any of the following combinations…

Asian noodles + peanut sauce
Bell peppers + olive oil + mushrooms
Black bean sauce + water chestnuts
Brown rice vinegar + sesame oil + tamari
Chiles + garlic + ginger + sesame oil
Chili flakes + coconut milk + red bell peppers
Garlic + ginger + soy sauce
Garlic + olive oil
Garlic + sesame + tofu
Ginger + tofu
Lemon + tahini
Mushrooms + tofu
Scallions + shiitake mushrooms

Recipe Links
Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/167331/spicy-bok-choy-in-garlic-sauce/

3-Minute Bok Choy http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=260

15-Minute Healthy Sautéed Chicken and Bok Choy http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=120

Salmon and Bok Choy Green Coconut Curry https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/salmon-and-bok-choy-green-coconut-curry

Spicy Feel-Good Chicken Soup https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spicy-feel-good-chicken-soup

Teriyaki Steak Skewers with Asian-Style Greens https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/teriyaki-steak-skewers-with-asian-style-greens

10-Minute Garlic Bok Choy https://theforkedspoon.com/bok-choy-recipe/

Sesame Ginger Bok Choy https://www.spendwithpennies.com/sesame-ginger-bok-choy/#wprm-recipe-container-162686

Chinese Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy https://www.thespruceeats.com/stir-fry-baby-bok-choy-recipe-695307

Roasted Bok Choy https://www.thespruceeats.com/roasted-bok-choy-4690759

Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushroom Stir-Fry https://www.thespruceeats.com/bok-choy-shiitake-mushroom-stir-fry-3378425

Bok Choy with Garlic https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a10867/bok-choy-garlic-recipe-fw0410/

Stir Fried Bok Choy with Teriyaki Glaze https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a22292/stir-fried-bok-choy-teriyaki-glaze-recipe-fw0114/

Stir Fried Bok Choy with Peanut Sauce https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a22148/stir-fried-bok-choy-peanut-sauce-recipe-fw0114/

Boy Choy and Oyster Mushroom Stir-Fry https://www.verywellfit.com/bok-choy-and-oyster-mushroom-stir-fry-4144583

Ginger Chicken with Baby Bok Choy https://www.verywellfit.com/ginger-chicken-with-bok-choy-4171639

Hearty Asian-Inspired Soup (Low FODMAP) https://www.verywellfit.com/hearty-asian-inspired-low-fodmap-soup-4122212

Peanut Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables https://www.verywellfit.com/peanut-noodles-with-tofu-and-vegetables-4122516

Chicken Lo Mein https://www.jessicagavin.com/chicken-lo-mein/

Baby Bok Choy Slaw https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/baby-bok-choy-slaw

Resources
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=152#descr

https://www.homestratosphere.com/how-to-store-bok-choy/

https://www.finecooking.com/ingredient/bok-choy

https://fruitsandveggies.org/stories/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-bok-choy/

https://www.verywellfit.com/carb-information-for-bok-choy-2241765

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-294/quercetin

http://www.farmerfoodshare.org/veg/bok-choy

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/bok-choy-10-healthy-facts

https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-bok-choy-2215895

https://www.jessicagavin.com/how-to-cook-bok-choy/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/555273-bok-choy-hypothyroidism/

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Winter Squash Oat Cookies

Winter Squash Oat Cookies

If you want a simple treat to make that’s not overly sweet and made without added fat, this is for you! It’s a spin-off from my sweet potato oat cookies, so it’s similar, but not exactly the same. The recipe is fast and easy to put together and can easily be adjusted to make more, if needed. Below is a video demo of how to make these treats. The written recipe follows the video.
Enjoy!
Judi

Winter Squash Oat Cookies
Makes About 2 Dozen

2 cups oats (old fashioned or quick, not flavored)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 cup roasted winter squash (butternut, acorn, buttercup, delicata, kabocha, pumpkin, or turban squash) OR canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
3-4 Tbsp milk of choice, or enough to make a moist dough that holds together but is not overly wet
Up to ½ cup add-in of choice*

Add the oats, cinnamon and ground flax seed to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until the oats are crumbly and coarse, but not a fine powder. Add the squash and maple syrup (if using it), and milk, starting with 3 tablespoons. Pulse the mixture until it is well combined. Add more milk if needed to make the dough moist, but not overly wet. The mixture should hold together well when formed into a ball. Add whatever optional add-in ingredient you want and pulse very briefly to combine the mixture, but not enough to grind up the add-in ingredients.

Allow the mixture to rest about 10 minutes as the oven preheats to 350°F. Scoop the mixture with a #40 cookie scoop, or with two tablespoons onto a parchment paper or silicone-lined baking sheet. Slightly flatten the cookies with your fingers or a spatula, because they will not spread and flatten as they bake.

Bake at 350F for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned and set. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet, then enjoy. Store extra cookies in a covered container in the refrigerator.

* Optional add-in ingredients that would work well in these cookies:
Raisins or currants
Chopped pecans
Chopped walnuts
Hemp hearts (hulled hemp seeds)
Dried cranberries
Sunflower seeds
Chocolate chips
White baking chips
Literally anything else you would like to add to them!

Simple Lentils

Simple Lentils

Here’s a REALLY easy recipe for delicious lentils that can be used in a variety of ways. Simply gather your ingredients and add them all to the pot. Bring them to a boil, cover the pot and simmer until the lentils are tender. It’s THAT easy! Serve them as they are, over a bed of cooked grain or pasta, over mashed potatoes, as stuffing for tomatoes or cooked winter squash, in a tortilla wrap, or even as a meatless Sloppy Joe filling. Use your imagination!

Below is a video demonstration of how to cook the lentils.  The written recipe is below the video.

Enjoy!
Judi

Simple Lentils
Makes About 6 Servings

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup diced yellow onion
1/3 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup diced carrot
1 (4.5 oz) jar or can of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a medium size sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Place a lid on the pot, and allow the lentils to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid is gone. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve.

Serving Suggestions: Serve the lentils as they are, over a bed of cooked grain of choice (such as rice, quinoa, couscous, millet, barley, wild rice, etc.), over pasta, over mashed potatoes, as a stuffing for tomatoes or winter squash, wrapped in a tortilla, or used as filling for a meatless Sloppy Joe sandwich. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination!

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash 101 – The Basics

 

About Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a winter squash with orange-flesh and a sweet flavor. It’s commonly treated as a vegetable, but technically, it’s a fruit since it contains seeds. Butternut squash is very versatile with many culinary uses from both sweet to savory dishes. It is a popular winter squash featuring a large bell-shaped bottom section and a slimmer, tapering neck. It’s often recognized by its tannish colored skin.

Butternut squash, like other squash varieties belongs to the Cucurbitaceae plant family. This family contains a lot of foods many people enjoy regularly, such as watermelons and other melons, and even cucumbers.

Winter squashes and related plants appear to be native to Central and South America. Not surprisingly, such foods have been an important part of the diet of the indigenous people for thousands of years. Since they are rich in nutrients and they store well in cooler temperatures, winter squashes were nutrient-rich foods that helped to nourish ancient people through the colder months when such foods were not in season.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an excellent source of Vitamin A from its carotenoid content. It also provides plenty of Vitamins C, B6, B2, B3, and K, along with fiber, manganese, copper, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and magnesium. Enjoy the seeds for a good supply of Vitamin E. One cup of cooked, mashed butternut squash has a mere 82 calories.

The bright orange color of butternut squash is a clear indication that it is packed with carotenoids, Vitamin A precursors. This makes them powerful antioxidant foods, protecting eye, skin and cardiovascular health, as well as warding off cancer.

Despite the fact that some people consider winter squash to be high-carbohydrate foods, winter squash is considered to be low on the glycemic index, with a rating of 55. Winter squash has been found to steady the release of sugars in the digestive tract, lowering the glycemic response to meals.

How to Select a Butternut Squash
Choose a butternut squash that is free of blemishes or decay, and feels firm and heavy for its size.

How to Store Butternut Squash
Butternut squash will keep well in a cool, dry, dark place. The ideal storage temperature is 50 to 68°F. Freshly picked squash have been stored in these conditions for up to 6 months. Most should store well for 1 to 3 months.

If mold appears on your squash, the molded area should be cut away and the remaining parts of the squash that are still good should be used immediately. Sometimes, commercial growers wax the squashes to prolong their shelf life and deter mold. If yours was not waxed and you want to extend the shelf life, you could oil the squash yourself. Wash the squash well to remove any dirt. Dry it well…make sure it is completely dry before proceeding or moisture left on it may invite decay. Place a small amount of food-grade oil of your choice on a paper towel or cloth, and wipe the entire surface of the squash, spreading a thin layer of oil all over. Be sure you get oil in all cracks and crevices of the squash. Buff off any excess oil. The surface should be shiny, but not oily to the touch. Store it in a cool, dry, dark place.

Once your squash has been cut, it should be tightly wrapped or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than a week. Cooked butternut squash should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and used within 3 to 5 days.

Cooked butternut squash may be frozen in an airtight container. It will keep well for 10 to 12 months. Beyond that, the quality may decline, but it will still be safe to eat.

How to Prepare a Butternut Squash
First remove any label that was placed on your squash at the store. Then rinse the squash with water to clean it off. Butternut squash does not need to be peeled before being cooked, but you can peel it, if desired or if a recipe calls for peeling it first. The peel is tough, but they can be peeled with a vegetable peeler or a knife.

When cutting butternut squash, it’s easiest to cut it in half, separating the neck from the bulb end. Then the seeds need to be removed from the bulb end. They can be removed by scooping them out with a spoon, or by first cutting the bulb in half from top to bottom, then scraping the seeds out with a spoon. The stem end can then be cut off the top of the neck end. The neck end can then be stood upright to remove the peel, then the flesh can be cubed. Or the neck end can be cut in half lengthwise for roasting or cooking in another method.

Roasted Butternut Squash. Butternut squash can be roasted different ways. The squash may be cut into four large pieces (cutting the bulb end from the stem end, then cutting both the bulb and stem ends in half lengthwise) and removing the seeds as described above. Place all pieces, peel side up, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roasting it at 375°F or 400°F until a sharp knife can easily be inserted through the pieces. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the squash to cool enough to be handled. Scrape the flesh from the peel with a spoon and use accordingly in your recipe.

This method can be simplified by placing your entire uncut, washed squash on a baking sheet and roasting it until a knife can easily pierce through its thickest part. Remove it from the oven, allow it to cool enough to be handled, then cut it, removing seeds, stem end, and scraping off the flesh to be used as needed.

Butternut cubes can also be roasted by first cutting the squash in half, separating the bulb end from the neck. Then trim off the stem end, stand the squash piece upright and remove the peel with a knife or vegetable peeler. Then slice the flesh into cubes. Most recipes for roasted butternut squash cubes call for placing the cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and coating the cubes with oil, then sprinkling them with salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 400°F or 425°F about 20 to 30 minutes, until fork-tender.

Steamed Butternut Squash. Place medium size chunks of peeled and seeded butternut squash in a steamer basket. Add water to the pot, but not so much that the squash pieces sit in water. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring the water to boil. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the squash pieces are fork-tender. Remove the squash pieces to a bowl and proceed with desired recipe.

Sautéed Butternut Squash. Peeled, seeded butternut squash cubes may be sautéed in oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. First, warm the fat in the skillet, add the squash cubes, then stir frequently and sauté until lightly browned and caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Freeze Butternut Squash
Cooked, pureed and frozen butternut squash is ready to be used in pies, soups, baked goods or in any recipe calling for pureed pumpkin or other winter squash. Simply wash the squash, cut it as desired, and cook it in whatever way you prefer…roasted with or without oil, steamed, or boiled. Scrape off the pulp from the peel, and puree the pulp in a food processor. Pureeing the pulp is not mandatory, but makes it much easier to work with when it’s time to use it. Place your pureed pulp in a freezer bag or container (leave about one inch of headspace). Label it with the date and store it in the freezer. Frozen pureed butternut squash will keep for 10 to 12 months. It is safe to use beyond that, but the quality may deteriorate.

Quick Ideas and Tips for Using Butternut Squash
* To make butternut squash easier to peel before cooking it, microwave it for 2 or 3 minutes first.

* The peel of butternut squash is edible, but tough. If you want to eat the peel, slow roast the squash and the peel will get softer as it roasts.

* For something different, try butternut squash fries instead of potato fries.

* Top salads with cubes of roasted butternut squash.

* Add chunks of butternut squash to stews.

* Stuff a roasted butternut squash half with a mixture of cooked grains and vegetables for a delicious and filling dish.

* Add roasted butternut squash to breakfast for something different.

* Add thin slices of raw butternut squash to salads for added flavor and texture.

* Enjoy roasted butternut squash in place of potatoes, pumpkin, or sweet potato.

* Mash cooked butternut squash with a little milk of choice and cinnamon and serve it instead of mashed potatoes.

* Use pureed butternut squash in place of pumpkin when making pies and tarts.

* Add cooked butternut squash to pasta dishes, or puree it and make an interesting pasta sauce.

* Combine pureed butternut squash with coconut milk for a creamy squash soup.

* Butternut squash seeds are edible! They can be saved and roasted as you would pumpkin seeds. Once scooped out, separate the seeds from the stringy pulp, and rinse them well. Coat the seeds with a little oil, and season them as desired. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and roast them at 225°F for about 15 minutes until the seeds start to pop. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet before serving.

* Do you want to enjoy pureed squash, but are not sure how to flavor it? Try topping pureed butternut squash with cinnamon and maple syrup.

* For an interesting side dish, steam cubes of butternut squash. Then toss with a little olive oil, soy sauce, and ginger. Sprinkle with toasted squash seeds for a little added crunch.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well with Butternut Squash
Allspice, basil, bay leaf, cardamom, cayenne, chili pepper flakes, chives, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, garlic, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, paprika (smoked)

Foods That Go Well with Butternut Squash
Proteins, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds: Beans (i.e. adzuki, lima, pinto, white), chicken, chickpeas, eggs, lamb, nuts (esp. almonds, pecans, walnuts), pork, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, tahini, tofu

Vegetables: Artichokes (Jerusalem), arugula, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celery root, chiles, fennel, greens, kale, leeks, mushrooms, onions, shallots, spinach, tomatoes

Fruits: Apples, berries, coconut, cranberries, dates, lemon, lime, orange, pears, pomegranate seeds, raisins

Grains and Grain Products: Bulgur (wheat), corn, couscous, farro, millet, quinoa, rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, browned butter, cheese (esp. cheddar, Parmesan, ricotta), coconut milk, cream, milk (dairy and non-dairy), yogurt

Other Foods: Miso, oil, sugar (esp. brown), stock (mushroom), tamari, vinegar (esp. balsamic), wine (esp. dry white)

Butternut squash has been used in the following cuisines and dishes…
Baked goods (i.e. muffins), casseroles, gratins, pasta (i.e. gnocchi, lasagna, ravioli), pizza, purees, risottos, soups and bisques, stews, succotash, tarts

Suggested Flavor and Food Combos Using Butternut Squash
Add butternut squash to any of the following combinations…

Allspice + cinnamon + cloves + maple syrup + vanilla
Apples + cinnamon + ginger + maple syrup + walnuts
Apples + cheese + honey
Apples + nuts
Balsamic vinegar + mushrooms + pasta
Browned butter + pine nuts + sage + pasta
Fruit (cranberries, dates) + nuts (pecans, pistachios)
Ginger + tamari + tofu
Orange + sage
Quinoa + walnuts
Rosemary + tomatoes + white beans
Sage + walnuts

Recipe Links
Roasted Butternut Squash (No Oil) (Judi in the Kitchen video) https://youtu.be/rVCS19OnNXY

Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples (Judi in the Kitchen video) https://youtu.be/XtuEkykDp08

Roasted Butternut Squash https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-butternut-squash-recipe-1921606

Sautéed Butternut Squash http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/261206/sauteed-butternut-squash/

Side Dish Recipe for Roast Chicken—Pan-Seared Butternut Squash with Balsamic and Parmigiano Shards   https://www.thekitchn.com/a-side-dish-recipe-for-roast-chicken-balsamic-butternut-saut-with-parmigiano-shards-pick-a-side-from-tara-mataraza-desmond-195791

Sautéed Butternut Squash with Garlic, Ginger, and Spices https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/side/vegetable/sauteed-butternut-squash-with-garlic-ginger.html

Sautéed Butternut Squash https://tastykitchen.com/recipes/sidedishes/sauteed-butternut-squash/

Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash https://www.onelovelylife.com/caramelized-browned-butter-butternut-squash/

26 Delicious Butternut Squash Recipes to Make This Fall https://www.delish.com/cooking/g3003/butternut-squash/

33 Butternut Squash Recipes We Love https://www.foodandwine.com/vegetables/squash-gourds/butternut-squash/butternut-squash

55 Best Butternut Squash Recipes Everyone in Your Family will Enjoy https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g2701/butternut-squash-recipes/

10 Things to do With Butternut Squash https://www.thekitchn.com/10-things-to-do-with-butternut-squash-128579

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner on a Sheet Pan https://www.liveeatlearn.com/vegetarian-thanksgiving-dinner-on-a-sheet-pan/

Crock Pot Steel Cut Oats with Butternut Squash https://www.liveeatlearn.com/crockpot-steel-cut-oatmeal-with-butternut-squash/

Roasted Butternut Chickpea Hummus Wraps https://www.liveeatlearn.com/roasted-butternut-chickpea-hummus-wraps/

Golden Squash Soup http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=33

Steamed Butternut Squash with Almond Sauce http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=112

Steamed Butternut Squash with Red Chili Sauce http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=179

Resources
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-prepare-butternut-squash

https://www.healthline.com/health/carotenoids#benefits

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257702/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/butternut-squash

https://www.liveeatlearn.com/butternut-squash/

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18397

https://www.afamilyfeast.com/butternut-squash-puree/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/preserving-pumpkin-butternut-and-winter-squashes-1327938

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/54873/roasted-winter-squash-seeds/

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

 

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.