Ok, maybe they don’t really fall in love, but butternut squash undoubtedly does make a great addition to any family meal. Whether roasted in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon, blended into a lentil soup, or cooked into a Caribbean-inspired rice dish, butternut squash has the uncanny ability to pack a great deal of nutrition (in particular vitamins A, C, potassium, and folic acid) without tasting overly ‘healthy’. Its sweet, creamy flavour distracts from the fact that it is very low in calories, as well as starch content, rendering it an excellent low glycemic index option (to read more about the glycemic index, see ‘Low Glycemic Index Cuisine: High in Flavour, Low in Sugar‘). Another praise for this great fruit (believe me, there are many debates out there over whether it is a fruit or vegetable) is its appeal to the locavore – being a winter squash, its season peaks over the hibernating months, and that makes us Canadians very happy during an otherwise dreary season.
Recently, I married Caribbean and Persian flavours to make a Kadoo-Polow (squash rice), but instead taking a vegan route, and adding shredded coconut and cinnamon for a tropical kick. I love my rice cooker for dishes like these because it will greatly expedite the process and we have dinner in less than an hour. Awesome, right? I hope you fall in love with butternut squash like I have.
1.5 cups volcanic rice, rinsed
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp coarse black pepper
5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp shredded coconut
Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker pot and place on ‘Cook’ setting. Enjoy a glass of something while your delicious dinner bubbles away for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy with white fish, walnuts, or any other protein of your choice. Noosheh Jaan!