Monday, November 7, 2011

Butternut Squash

I adore butternut squash!  Its nutty flavor just screams fall!  And, since I am determined to introduce my son to flavors that my husband and I also enjoy, I thought this was the perfect food to follow it gave me a reason to make some butternut squash soup, which is melt-in-your-mouth-good.

Squash is a great first food for babies.  It's full of Vitamin A and folate (once again, remember those prenatals you took?) which are awesome for developing Baby's eyes and brain!  They're not in the dirty dozen, so feel free to purchase inorganic if you'd like.  Additionally, winter squash (butternut, acorn, hubbard, delicata) store very well, making it easy to keep this tasty treat on hand for your baby even when it's not in season (November and December are peak months). In fact, 
"depending on the variety, a winter squash such as the butternut may be stored for up to four months.  Store your winter squash in a cool dry place for optimal storage times."
To retain the most nutrients in your winter squash, baking or roasting is the preferred cooking method (and it saves you time in peeling and cubing what can certainly be a difficult fruit to cut...yes squash is technically a fruit).  Oh, and baking squash lends an amazing flavor and fills your house with the smells of autumn, too!

Step 1:  Using a sharp knife, cut squash in half length-wise. 
Step 2:  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fibrous
strings.  Save the seeds for roasting as you would
pumpkin seeds, if you'd like. 
Step 3:  Place the halves, cut side down, in a roasting
pan and fill with water to 1/4-inch up the side of the squash. 
Step 4:  Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until skin is
wrinkly and flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.
Reserve cooking liquid.
Step 5: Scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor
fitted with a steel blade. 
Step 6:  Puree to desired consistency, thinning with
cooking liquid, water, or formula/breastmilk as needed.
One squash (not quite 4 pounds) made enough for 21
1/4-cup servings, which will last me about a week and a half!
Not bad for $2.77!
So, was it worth it?  Yes!!  First of all, while I could find squash in the babyfood section of my grocery, it didn't specify what type of squash, so I can't be entirely sure what my son would be eating.  Regardless, at $0.79/pound, my three-and-a-half pounder came in at $2.77 and served up 21 portions for my little guy!  That's only $0.13 per serving...way better than $0.49 for the "mystery-squash" in the store!

1 comment: