The holiday season is firmly upon us! I don’t know about you, but for me it’s harder and harder to get into the holiday spirit with everything I have to keep up with. Not only do I have the normal cooking, cleaning, driving, playing, etc. going on, but the addition of the holidays and a December birthday. Sigh. It’s worth it though, I really enjoy seeing Christmas through my daughter’s eyes.
With everything we all have going on something quick and easy to make as a side for weeknight dinner is so needed, that’s why I’m sharing this quick and easy way to prepare butternut squash. Roasting in the oven frees you up to do other things while the squash cooks and the scents filling the house will make your mouth water.
So really this is less of a recipe and more of a suggestion. In other words, I’m not bothering with exact amounts. Just use your best judgement and go with what feels right for you. I’m sharing because I love both of these seasonings and both are great depending on your mood. Even my husband liked the cumin version and he isn’t the biggest fan of most vegetables.
- 1 medium sized Butternut Squash
- Organic Maple Syrup
- Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, liquified
- Olive Oil
- Pecans or Walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F (or 400° if your oven runs a bit cool)
- Line 2 baking sheets with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
- Wash butternut squash and cut down the middle long ways.
- Scoop out stringy bits and seeds and discard.
- Using a potato peeler, peel the squash (or don’t! It’s up to you. If you don’t peel, it will need to cook longer. I’ve definitely roasted it with the skin on and eaten the skin, but we do prefer it peeled.)
- Cut squash as shown above, about 1/2″ thick.
- Divide squash equally between 2 pans.
- Using clean hands, toss the squash in olive oil lightly, just so it doesn’t stick.
- Next add a bit of maple syrup, about 2 tablespoons, don’t over think it, just do what feels right, and toss again with your hands.
- Sprinkle with a bit of cumin and toss again so it is well incorporated together.
- Lastly, sprinkle just a touch of salt. Not much!
- Again, with clean hands toss squash with liquefied coconut oil until lightly coated.
- Add some maple syrup, about 2 tablespoons, and toss to coat.
- Add chopped nuts, if using.
- Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon (maybe adding some nutmeg or allspice if you’re feeling adventurous!) and toss to coat.
- Put both pans in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes.
- Remember, if you did not remove the outer peel it will take longer. I would say 40 minutes is the minimum time if you leave on the skin.
That’s it! I’ve found that roasting at such a high temp with sugary maple syrup needs some oil to keep the squash from sticking to even parchment paper. I’ve roasted squash with syrup and without oil and it was very difficult to pull away from the parchment. Both versions should come out soft, sweet, and caramelized…mmmmmm….
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious fall treat!