Sweetly Spiced Butternut Squash – I recently read in a baby book that my little fetus is at the point in his development where he can taste the things I eat. If I eat spicy, he gets a taste. If I eat sweet, so does he! So in my efforts to not have to cater to an infant that rejects everything or a toddler that only eats “mac and cheese” and chicken nuggets, I figured I’d start introducing the little one in utero to a variety of yummy, tasty things that are au naturel. Also, and happily so, my baby generally directs me to things he wants to eat. I’m totally serious!!! Sometimes it’s things like mashed potatoes, which I RARELY eat but have recently started craving. Or out-of-the-blue cravings like octopus! This week, however, he steered me to butternut squash.
I usually make savory butternut squash, with lots of rosemary and flecks of sea salt. This time, however, I decided to try to make it into a dessert. Oh, right, I forgot to tell you that most of the things my baby wants to eat happen to be sweet carbohydrates like ice cream sundaes or pie. Just ask my friends who are witness to my new eating habits and somehow join the pregnant girl in head-to-head eating! But I try to resist temptation to stuff my face with not-so-good things, and try to substitute in more nutritious foods. So I thought to make a barely sweetened squash dessert with rich notes of fall spices that turned out to be really quite delicious. It’s great warm or cold, you can add toppings to it if you like to make it even more special- my favorites are shredded apple and cranberries. But it’s really quite simple and hits the spot both for it’s sweet flavor and it’s nutrition. And the baby loved it!!
Makes 6 servings
1 1/4 lb butternut squash, diced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp virgin coconut oil
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp orange zest
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Optional toppings: toasted sunflower seeds, shredded apple (super yummy and unexpected!!!), dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375. In a baking dish, combine the squash, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut oil, maple syrup, orange zest, and salt. Toss to evenly coat the squash with the spices. Roast in oven for about 40 min, then allow to cool to your desired serving temperature. When serving, add topping of your choice.