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Butternut Squash and Green Beans

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Healthy and nutritious, this recipe transforms these two vegetables into an appetizing side accompaniment, or as a vegetarian main meal. Butternut squash has been more commonly known in the last 20 years, and combined with its bulky exterior, it’s often found that many people simply do not know how to prepare or cook it.

It has an amazing creamy texture and vibrant colour, yet Butternut squash does not only look and taste good, it does good! It’s an extremely high antioxidant food, meaning it cleans and filters the body of any oxidative stress caused by various means, such as poor eating habits or chemical/sun exposure. Not only this, it has a whole range of other health benefits.

Health benefits of Butternut squash

  • Contains Vitamin A, which is the source of cancer preventing antioxidants. It’s important we receive Vitamin A from our diet, as when taken in a high quality from supplements in can become toxic.
  • Vitamin A reduces inflammation, the cause of most diseases and infections, so not only helps with the fight against cancer; it also helps prevent the common cold.
  • High potassium content which aids in healthy bones. Extremely important for the older generation and pregnant women when brittle bones are at a higher risk, which could result in Osteoporosis.

 

So we know it’s incredibly beneficial to our diet, but how can we cook it?

 

“A quick tip when peeling your butternut squash is to pop it into the microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften the skin before removing.”

 

It can be roasted, boiled, baked, seasoned with garlic and honey, pureed or blended. When roasted, butternut squash doesn’t need to be peeled and the skin can be kept left on. It’s brilliant as a soup or in a risotto, as these dishes really exposure its sweet flavour. Our vegetarian/vegan cookery classes are a brilliant way of learning how to cook exciting dishes with an array of vegetables such as Butternut Squash. Find one of my favourite recipes below, as I love the softness of the butternut squash combined with the crispness of the green beans.

 

Butternut Squash and French Beans recipe

Serves 2 as a side dish

 

Ingredients:

150g cooked Butter nut squash cut into 1.5 cm pieces

75g cooked French beans – trimmed and ends off cut into half or thirds depending on the size

1 tbsp oil & 25g butter

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp red chilli powder

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp mango powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

1 small handful of fresh coriander

1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

2 tbsp water – as required

 

Cooking Instructions:

  • Heat oil and butter in a pan, add the cumin seeds and sizzle for 5 seconds.
  • Add the, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, mango powder and salt, stir and cook with the lid on for a minute on a low heat.Shake the pan or stir to ensure it doesn’t stick.
  • Add the precooked butternut squash and French beans and cook for a further few minutes on a low heat with the lid on (putting the lid will create water/steam which provides a little moisture)
  • Add the water to enable a little sauce to develop and to prevent the spices from overheating. Continue with the lid on to create further condensation and steam cooking.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and toasted flaked almonds and serve at once.

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