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All about “Butternut”, low-calorie squash

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Butternut squash, also called “butternut” is the fruit of a vegetable plant of the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes melons and cucumber. Butternut squash is one of the winter squashes that are harvested at full maturity and eaten cooked. This squash has the distinction of having a subtle taste of hazelnut which is very appreciated.

Characteristics :

  • Rich in potassium, phosphorus and calcium;
  • Presence of iron and manganese;
  • Source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C;
  • Source of fiber;
  • Low in calories.

What is butternut?

Butternut identity card

  • Family: Cucurbits;
  • Type: Winter squash;
  • Season: From December to March;
  • Flavor: Subtle hazelnut;
  • Beige.

Characteristics of the butternut

This annual plant has the shape of a large pear and has a soft pulp, a little sweet and orange.

Differences with nearby foods

Unlike its cousins, the pumpkin and the pumpkin, whose shape is rather round, the butternut has the shape of a pear. They are also differentiated by their flesh and flavor: the butternut has a fine flesh and a subtle nutty taste while the pumpkin has a stringy flesh and the pumpkin, a slight taste of chestnut.

Word from the nutritionist

Butternut squash or butternut is a fruit-vegetable that is easy to cook and store. Integrate it everywhere for a good dose of vitamin A.

Nutritional values

Per 100 g or 1/2 cup (125 ml) cooked                                                     
Calories 40 kcal
Water 88g
Carbohydrates 10.5g
Protein 0.9 g
Fat 0.1g
Dietary fiber 1.7g
Vitamin A 558 µg
Beta carotene 4570 µg
Beta-cryptoxanthin 3116 µg

5 benefits of butternut: why eat it?

  1. Low in calories, butternut is an ally of choice during a diet.
  2. Its high content of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants, allows it to fight against cell aging.
  3. Butternut is a source of fiber ensuring proper intestinal function.
  4. Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamin A. Retinol is one of the active forms of vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is one of the most versatile vitamins, working together for several body functions. Among other things, it contributes to the growth of bones and teeth, keeps the skin healthy and protects against infections. In addition, it plays an antioxidant role and promotes good vision, especially in the dark.
  5. Rich in beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, precursors of vitamin A with antioxidant power which limits oxidative stress and free radicals, molecules responsible for the aging of our cells. Beta carotene may also improve certain functions of the immune system. In addition, these carotenoids are also studied in the areas of macular degeneration, cataracts, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer such as lung, oral cavity, pharynx and cervix.

How to choose your butternut

When buying, look for a butternut that measures between 20 and 30 cm with a base of a dozen cm in diameter. His skin should be smooth and cream in color, with no cracking or brownish spots. Choose a squash that still has part of the stem, as this slows its dehydration.

The different varieties

There are six varieties of this squash, which differ in their shapes, sizes or textures.

Keep well

Butternut squash can be stored for several months away from heat and light. A temperature between 10 and 15 degrees allows better conservation and they are only refrigerated when they are cooked or cut. They can also be frozen when cooked or mashed.

Butternut preparation

How to cook it? How to match it?

Prepared like a vegetable, butternut squash can be used in soups, stews, couscous, gratins and stews. Cooked and pureed, it is incorporated into mashed potatoes and soups. It can also be used in pie-type desserts, muffins, cake, cookies, etc. Winter squash being rather bland, they benefit from being seasoned properly. Its seeds are also edible.


Hypopotassic diet

Butternut is rich in potassium, it is not recommended in the case of a controlled potassium diet.

Allergies to melon, pumpkin or zucchini

If you are allergic to any of the above foods, you may have an allergy to butternut squash.

History of food

Butternut squash has been cooked for at least 10,000 years. It would be the Amerindians who would be the first to have consumed it. It is now cultivated around the world.

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