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January: Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Butternut is just one variety of many types of winter squash. It's the star of the squash world because it's packed with the greatest amount of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that's essential for maintaining healthy skin and eyes. Foods like squash, which are naturally rich in vitamin A, have been shown to reduce the risk of lung and oral cancers. And don't forget the seeds—butternut squash seeds are a good source of dietary fiber, as well as healthy fats that help to promote heart health.

Honey Roasted Butternut BitesHoney Roasted Butternut Bites

1 medium-size butternut squash (about two pounds)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a peeler to skin the whole squash. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then, cut the squash into small cubes. Put the cubes in a large bowl and mix in the oil, honey, and salt. Use your hands or a large spoon to mix well, ensuring that each piece of squash is coated with the mixture. Then transfer squash to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for up to 1 hour (check on it frequently starting at the 45-minute mark).

Butternut Squash FriesButternut Squash Fries

1 medium-large butternut squash (about three pounds)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Any other seasonings you'd like to add (i.e. pepper, paprika, garlic salt)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the squash (with skin on) for 30-45 minutes. You want it to be soft enough to cut, but not fully cooked. Once it has softened and cooled, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and peel away the skin. Slice the squash into fry-like sticks and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and/or any other seasonings. Increase oven temperature to 425 and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the fries have browned.