Fall is upon us and for many of you you're already feeling the weather change to cool and crisp. The leaves are starting to concentrate their sugars, turn colors and eventually dry out. Well, I just found out another cool reason to eat butternut squash that helps your skin stay smooth and not dry out . . . keeping us younger and younger looking!
Butternut squash is a good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. I’d like to focus on the Vitamin A attributes of this particular squash because it’s pretty darn cool what it does:
Vitamin A was the first vitamin to be discovered in the early 1900s. Vitamin A is part of a large family called retinoids. This is because Vitamin A is primarily needed by the retina (the part of the eye that lets you see light). But vitamin A does more than just “feed” your retinas.
• Acts as an antioxidant to boost immunity
• Protects you from infection
• Keeps your “frontline barrier” strong and your skin smooth
• May help prevent certain cancers and heart disease
The main form of Vitamin A from plant sources is carotenoids. There are over 600 carotenoids but the main ones are Beta Carotene and Alpha Carotene. Beta carotene basically looks like 2 Vitamin A molecules combined. Beta carotene is what gives fruits and vegetables their yellow and orange color. For me, knowing how good the nutritional values are for me only makes this great tasting soup taste better . . . enjoy!
Onion – 1 tablespoon finely chopped
Celery – 3 ribs finely chopped
Carrot – 2 carrots finely chopped
Fresh Sage – 3 large leaves finely chopped
Fresh Rosemary – 2 tablespoons finely chopped
Maple Syrup – 2 tablespoons
1 Medium-Large Butternut Squash – peeled and cubed
Chicken Stock - to desired consistency
Curry Powder – 2 teaspoons
Poultry Seasoning – 1 teaspoon
Cayenne Pepper – to taste
Salt – to taste
Roast cubed squash in oven for 30 minutes on 400 degrees or until soft
Sautee onion, carrot, celery, sage, rosemary in olive oil until soft and starts to caramelize.
Add spices and seasonings
Add squash and maple syrup – use hand blender or food processor and blend until smooth and mixed through.
Add chicken stock to desired consistency
Serve garnished with croutons and a dollop of sour cream
**Add finely chopped apple (1/4 cup) to sautéed onion, celery, etc. for a sweeter taste and crunch in soup.