Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Myth: I like butternut squash but there are only a few different ways to serve it.

Answer: BUSTED!

There are a variety of ways you can use butternut squash. Consider making butternut squash pear compote. Yes, that’s right – butternut squash pear compote:
  1. Cut up 2 cups of butternut squash into cubes. Put in a large saucepan along with 1½ cups water, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/4 cup golden raisins, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender.
  2. Peel, core and cut up 4 cups pears. Add to saucepan with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cook uncovered, stirring often until pears are tender.
  3. Transfer squash and fruit to a baking dish with a slotted spoon. Simmer syrup until reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour syrup over squash/fruit mixture in baking dish and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
How can you use this compote? As a dessert – heat up and crush graham crackers over the top for some crunch. Add to plain yogurt. Top whole wheat pancakes with compote. Add to a slice of whole wheat toast spread with non-fat cream cheese. Add to cooked oatmeal.

Winter squashes like butternut squash or acorn squash are low in calories (about 60 calories in 1 cup). One cup has 3 grams of fiber and 493 mg of potassium. Potassium can lower your blood pressure by acting against the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure. Eating vegetables and fruits is associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

butternut squash
Want other ideas about how to use squash? Visit for this hearty chili recipe: Chili with Butternut Squash and Olives

To get started eating more fruits and vegetables, check out the MU Extension publication Seasonal and Simple: A Guide for Enjoying Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. To purchase a copy of Seasonal and Simple, contact your local MU Extension office or go online to

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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