It’s that time of year again, or should I say season! Butternut squash is a popular winter squash that is harvested during early fall to late winter. A great benefit with butternut squash is that you can keep it for a month or more, provided that you store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. While other foods lose their nutritional value when stored for a long time, butternut squash tends to become even more nutritious during the first two months of storage, as its carotenoids continue to accumulate.
Aside from providing a remarkable amount of nutrients, the butternut squash is also a versatile ingredient that you can add to different dishes, which is why it definitely deserves a spot in your kitchen. From soups to desserts, you can use it to create a variety of mouthwatering meals.
Butternut squash is easy to prepare and cook!
In order for you to create a delicious meal out of butternut squash, make sure that you choose one that’s dense and heavy for its size. You should also check its rind to see if it’s free of cracks, soft spots and other blemishes. Once you have the perfect butternut squash, turn it into a healthy and satisfying dish.
Butternut squash are loaded with a wide array of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and trace minerals. It is also critical for the liver.
How to Puree Butternut Squash for Soups, Desserts and Baby Food
One of the simplest things that you can do with a butternut squash is to puree it. This makes for a perfect base ingredient for soups, desserts and side dishes. Plus, it’s a nutritious meal for babies and kids. Here’s a simple guide on how to puree butternut squash:
- Cut the butternut squash lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and strings.
- Place the squash on a cookie sheet, cut sides down, and cook it in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until its flesh becomes soft.
- Allow the squash to cool, then scoop out the flesh and put it into a blender or food processor. Puree until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Mix with other veggies, fruits, meats or spices, if desired.
How to Cook Butternut Squash in an Oven: Roasted to Perfection
Roasting butternut squash keeps its flesh moist and tender while caramelizing its exterior, giving your dish a nice contrast in texture. Follow this easy method to roast your butternut squash perfectly in an oven:
- Cut the butternut squash in half, then scoop out the seeds. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash, and then cut it into 1-inch-thick cubes.
- Toss the squash cubes in a bit of coconut oil (sold at NW) to keep them from drying out while roasting, and then spread them in an even layer on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt (sold at NW) and black pepper.
- Roast in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and brown on the edges, stirring once
Make sure to grab yourself a butternut squash and enjoy all the health benefits that comes along with its warmth and great flavor!
As a Mother and Wellness Warrior, I am always on the lookout for clean food to feed my son. This recipe is grain-free, dairy-free, paleo and GAPS. I chose to use all organic ingredients as well when making these animal crackers. This recipe was very easy to make and my son had fun joining in on fun in the kitchen while making them together. We also enjoyed the yumminess of these straight out of the oven, still warm.
Animal Crackers Recipe
- 1 3/4 cups finely ground almond flour
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- dash salt
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Add wet ingredients and mix using a hand mixer. Dough may become a bit crumbly.
- Roll dough into a ball and place on a large piece of parchment paper, laid on a flat surface. Add another large piece of parchment on top.
- Roll out dough using a rolling pin, to about 1/4″ thickness.
- Use animal-shaped cookie cutters (Found on Amazon- Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Animal Cracker Cookie Cutters, Set of 4) to cut out shapes. If using plunge-style cutters, gently wiggle and push plunger in and out as you pull away from the dough.
- Gently transfer shapes to a lined baking sheet, spacing cookies about an inch apart. A thin fish spatula can help with the transfer.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden on the edges. Allow to cool before serving or storing in an air-tight container.
I hope you and your family enjoy these as much as mine did…and continues to. Enjoy!
Recipe obtained from thefamilythathealstogether.com
When September comes around here in Wisconsin, I start to get the itch for fall like activities, such as Apple Picking. But I have to say, every year when I think of going apple picking, I often change my mind. And here is what I mean with that.
I don’t buy conventional apples from the grocery store. I choose to buy organic apples. Why? Well, because the amount of pesticides on an apple and the chemicals used to make them, I will not consume nor put in my body. So for me to go apple picking and buy apples that may cause more harm then good, I just decide to not go. And for those who decide to go Apple Picking for non-organic apples, there is no shame in doing that. But this is an example of myself, walking the talk, each and every day.
As a Wellness Warrior, it’s often very rare I take that hat off. I use to get very upset with myself for not taking it off until I came to finally realize, more then ever, that this is the truth of who I am. I am a Wellness Warrior that walks the talk. So if I tell my clients to incorporate, change or do something, I am doing it for myself and my family as well.
This year I came across Peck and Bushel, Organic Fruit Co. in Colgate, Wisconsin. I loved it! And so did my husband and son. I appreciate being able to walk along the organic apple trees and allow my son to eat the apples off the ground (not the rotten ones). I appreciate the hard work and dedication this family owned business does so that people, like myself, can still have fun, enjoy the fall rituals, without having to drop down to something I don’t believe in consuming or doing.
I invite you to check out Peck and Bushel. Whether you choose to eat Organic or not, this place is a must see. It’s charming barn is full of decor, samples and gifts for everyone, including one for yourself. A beautiful patio starts the outdoor adventures that leads you to the apple trees with spots to stop along the way for photos.
Get out outside and soak of the beautiful fall weather with friends and family!
Now is the time to slow down and start incorporating self-care. Here is one simple example of a self-care idea! Making your own coffee allows you to not only take time out of your busy lives and to-do lists but it also allows you to enjoy the most nourishing coffee; clean, nutritious and organic ingredients, without any added toxins or chemicals. Enjoy sipping on your coffee as you sit down with a book or magazine, or maybe just enjoy the peace and stillness with your own, home brewed latte. This is an example of taking some time out of your busy lives to start incorporating self care, with an added bonus of some wonderful coffee as well! Note how you feel while doing this for yourself and notice how just taking 10-20 minutes out of your day can really make a difference!
- 12 oz. organic coffee
- 2 tsp. coconut oil (or coconut oil + 1 tsp. coconut butter
- 1/2-1 tsp ghee or unsalted grass-fed butter (for dairy-free option or if you’re allergic to dairy- add additional coconut oil)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk (optional-adds more creaminess)
- 1/8 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tbsp. Great Lakes Collagen (Sold At Nourishing Wellness)
- Brew coffee in a coffee maker or french press.
- While coffee is brewing, in a saucepan over medium heat melt and heat the coconut oil/butter, ghee and optional milk. This will help to keep your latte nice and hot.
- Pour 12 oz. of coffee in a blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend on high for 10-15 seconds until creamy and frothy.
- Pour in coffee mug and enjoy.
Recipe obtained from therealfoodrds.com and Simply Nourished Recipes.
As school starts back up again, our dinnertime can be shortened, leaving less time to make dinner. This recipe is a fan favorite. You can make it ahead of time and have leftovers as well. I love these because they are easy, delicious, and require few ingredients. These are also gluten free, dairy free and paleo. Here is a great source of protein and fat in one dish! Add it to a side of steamed veggies and you covered all your bases, carbs, fat and protein…a meal well done!
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1/2 onion – finely diced
- 1 cup mushrooms – finely diced
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano – finely diced
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
- 1 tsp pepper
- 8-10 slices bacon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to save yourself some clean up, line the bottom of the oven with a sheet of aluminum foil. The bacon and meatloaf tends to bubble and drip when cooking.
Next, cut up garlic, onion, mushrooms, and oregano. Place in a large mixing bowl and add in beef, sausage, and pepper.
Use hands to mix ingredients together well. Divide into 8-10 equal sized portions and shape into small round balls slightly smaller than the size of your muffin tin.
Wrap bacon slices around the edge of each meatloaf ball and place in the muffin tin. The bacon ends should just meet or slightly overlap, so cut bacon pieces as necessary to fit.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving
Recipe from www.realsimplegood.com
This article spoke to me very clearly. (article below)
As my son recently turned 1 years old, I had a birthday party to plan. Although I am not one to get all crazy with decorations, I am one to look at what’s going on the food menu. The big decision to make was if it was ok to skip the “smash cake” or “birthday day” or if I would be robbing my child of his childhood by restricting the sugar intake.
I know it’s not the easiest for some to eat healthy or feed their family healthy meals but for me it’s my way of life, passion and career. Some may think of a birthday celebration as a time to have a “free day” or a “cheat day.” But for me, it’s another day of eating healthy. I got excited to host my son’s first party as I get to share my clean, nutritious foods with family and friends and enjoy the deliciousness.
So, how did I throw a party for my 1-year old son? What was on the food menu? Paleo sloppy joes was the main dish (buns were available for those who request a bun). For my family and I, we use lettuce wraps or chips (Siete or Boulder Canyon chips) to eat our sloppy joes with. For the kids, I bought grass-fed, uncured hot dogs that were real beef! The kids ate them up, one kid even wanted a 2nd hot dog. Then I had a fruit bowl with strawberries, cantaloupe, and blueberries layered together. I also had some homemade guacamole and chips (Siete chips), a veggie tray and corn on the cob that my husband made on the grill. I had my pink Himalayan salt and grass-fed butter next to the corn to top it off. I also had my husband cook some different brats (Kettle Range Meat Co.) and sliced them up, putting a pretzel through them. I also made a cheesy potato casserole that was a fan favorite! I loved it because it was easy and I could replace the ingredients with clean ones. And lastly, dessert. I made chocolate cupcakes (Kalyana’s-sold at Nourishing Wellness) with frosting (Simple Mills).
For my son’s “birthday cake, I decided to purchase raw vanilla ice cream from my CSA farm and saved a small, naked cupcake for him to enjoy. But he was not interested. I will continue to keep my son’s sugar exposure to a minimum as this is the time where I am building his health for both now and his future. And I think his childhood isn’t being robbed at all. If anything, he’s being given the best childhood anyone could ask for!
With all this being said, it’s possible. It’s possible to have a 1st birthday party or any celebration with clean, nutritious foods. It’s possible to eat healthy and still have a great time! Let’s be apart of the solution, spreading the word and lead by example!
*Article: Are Kid’s entitled to sugar
It’s not a news flash that Americans eat too much sugar.
According to SugarScience, a group of experts at UCSF who study the impact of sugar on health, the average American adult consumes about 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) a day, or 66 pounds a year.
The problem is even worse for kids and teens, who get 16 percent of their total calories from added sugars.
And, according to a recent study, even some babies are consuming added sugar that exceeds the recommended amount for an adult. The researchers found that 99 percent of babies just 12 to 18 months old consumed over seven teaspoons of sugar a day—more than the amount in a Snickers bar!
This is insane.
Countless studies have shown that excess sugar intake contributes to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many other modern chronic conditions.
There are many reasons that babies and kids are eating this much sugar. Money is one of them. Big Food spends millions of dollars a year convincing parents to buy sugar-sweetened cereals, snacks, and other packaged foods that are loaded with sugar.
But I’ve also noticed that there’s a pervasive idea in American culture that kids are somehow entitled to eat sugar. Whether it’s cotton candy at a fair, ice cream on a hot day, juice boxes in school lunches, sodas at the movies, or Froot Loops for breakfast, sugar seems to be woven into the fabric of what is now considered to be a “normal” American childhood. (Of course, the same is true for the UK, Australia, and the rest of the developed—and increasingly, the developing—world.)
The mentality seems to be that restricting our kids’ sugar intake is akin to robbing them of their childhood. I’ve heard (and overheard) parents say as much on several occasions.
This has to change. Today is the first generation of kids that is expected to live shorter lifespans than their parents—and there’s little doubt that excess sugar consumption is part of the reason for that.
You can be part of the solution—whether as a clinician, health coach, nutritionist, or “citizen activist.” Keep spreading the word and leading by example.
Chris Kresser LLC 1810 E Sahara Ave Suite 402 Las Vegas, NV 89104
My health journey prior to NW was a completion of conflicting ideas of wellness that left me feeling confused with all the information I had. NW has streamlined info to help me on my journey. I have really learned how different foods make me feel. When I fell “off course” my health and wellness suffered. I am thankful for the accountability and grace given be Jamie to root for me and my journey. The info I have is now so valuable as well as sustainable, as long as I remember to value my own wellness.
Leigh Ann K.