Butternut squash. YUM. What a fantastic fall food. Not only is it good for cooking, but it is also excellent for decorating your front porch!
I love Fall. In the area where I live, there is plenty of fall foliage. The magnificent burgundy, burnt orange, yellows and greens make for a glorious landscape. My boyfriend informed me on a fun fact of just how this color changing process occurs. As the Sun begins to be less prevalent, the chlorophyll in the leaves decrease, causing the leaves to change color. Cool, huh!?
Alright, cooking. Butternut squash is probably most known for, well according to my Mother, to be made as a side dish. It is cooked and caramelized with butter and maple syrup – similar to a candied yam.
I have used this squash as the main dish, as part of a casserole and even as a sauce, replacing other less nutritious products with the squash.
Last night for dinner, I made butternut squash burgers. I know, I know I just wrote a post about burgers! But they are so good, and when I find a fun new substitute that is nutritious, I just have to share it! The butternut squash was flavored with spices that gave it an extra kick and some spices that blended well with its earth tones. Pair that with a whole wheat bun and you have a health packed dinner! On Monday, I made butternut squash apple curry. Typically this recipe utilizes chicken, but since I was out of chicken, I substituted butternut squash. I also tried two weeks ago, a butternut squash taco recipe (replaced the hamburger meat and seasoned it with taco seasoning).
Let’s look at the nutrition for a second. One cup of cubed, cooked butternut squash packs in 6.6 grams of fiber, 1.8 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, sodium and cholesterol, a low glycemic index and only 82 calories. It also provides well over 100% vitamin A, roughly 50% vitamin C and plenty of potassium. Check out http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/butternut-squash-packed-with-vitamin-a-and-delicious for more information on the nutrition of butternut squash.
Below is my recipe for the butternut squash burgers. Enjoy!
Spicy Squash Burgers
- 1 medium sized butternut squash
- 1/4 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg or egg substitute (1 Tbsp flax seed + 3 Tbsp water)
- 3/4 Tbsp paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp turmeric
- 1/2 Tbsp cumin
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- lettuce and onion for garnish
- barbecue sauce for on top of burger
- pack of 4 whole wheat buns
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cut the neck of the squash apart from the body. Reserve the body of the squash for another dish (I used mine for squash apple curry). Cut the neck horizontally in half so that it has one flat side and one rounded side.
- Place flat side of squash on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook in 350F oven for 1 hour or until squash is soft.
- Once squash is cool, scrape out the insides of the squash into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add bread crumbs, egg, spices. Mix well.
- Heat skillet with 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Form patties with the squash mixture, roughly 1/4 cup sized patties. You should be able to form roughly 4 patties.
- Once oil is hot (can test by sprinkling water into the oil, it should sizzle), place 1 squash patty into pan. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until patty is slightly browned/caramelized.
- Remove patty from skillet and place onto bun. Repeat the process for the next 3 patties. Note that when you remove the patty, the patty will still be soft. This is expected. The squash patty will never become hard and crunchy.
- Top squash burger with lettuce, onion and barbecue sauce. Enjoy!
**These burgers may also be saved for another day. Place cooked burgers into an airtight container. When ready to use, take out of container and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Assemble into a sandwich. May be stored for 3-4 days in refrigerator.