Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 12/05/2018
Although types of gourds were found in tombs of Egypt the butternut squash and its family members including the pumpkin and the calabaza are new world, native Americans. The butternut is the new kid on the block having made its appearance in 1944 although its lineage dates back .
The butternut squash was domesticated from the early cucurbita moschata squash. These squashes were successful as a food source in Mexico and parts of South America not only because of their many uses but they grew well in warm or cooler climates. Like the other squashes found in the New World, the natives wasted nothing. Every part of these squashes were used. The leaves were used to wrap foods for baking or simmering; the flowers could be battered and fried, the seeds can be roasted or eaten raw and the whole squash can be cut up baked. Even pieces of the squash including the hard shell can be slowly baked with honey to form a dessert still eaten in Guatemala. 1
Butternut squash is a very versatile food used simply boiled or baked or in soups, souffles, pies and breads. Pan fry slices or add cubed pieces to casseroles or even risotto. The butternut can be used in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. You can even roast the seeds just like you do pumpkin seeds. The seeds are high in protein.
Butternut squash is primarily a carbohydrate. This is one of the foods low-carb dieters tend to avoid based on the fact it is a higher starch squash compared to summer squash like zucchini. That said these squash are very healthy foods, well, until you slather it with butter and brown sugar. One cup of cubed squash (steamed or baked) is only about 64 calories and about 13 effective carbs. This squash is also a good source of beta carotene, B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium.