Recipe: Butternut Squash Puree for Health

The taste of this interesting and earthy flavored butternut squash puree isn’t the only thing you’ll enjoy by eating it. According to the Dole Nutrition Institute, butternut squash has lots of beta-carotene, which helps to defend against wrinkles and age spots. And the vitamin A and C in butternut squash aid to boost your immune system and inhibit collagen breakdown. Try this butternut squash puree to get strong and stay beautiful.

Below are directions for traditional stove top cooking, and for cooking with a pressure cooker.

*Tip – If you make a lot of puree soups and do not have a hand-held stick blender, I highly recommend that you buy one. Stick hand-held blenders are not the same as the hand-held blender for mashing potatoes–they are fast and they blend soups well. Stick blenders are convenient to use because you can do the blending in the same pot, not in separate batches, and the clean up is very easy.

Butternut Squash Puree

Butternut Squash Puree

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive

1 medium onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)

3 to 3 ½ pounds Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1-inch cubes

Sweet potato, 1 small (approximately ½ pound), chopped into 1-inch cubes

2 dried prunes

2 teaspoons agave nectar

1 ¾ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup non-fat milk

For Garnish: sliced green onion and toasted bread crumbs

Procedure for Stove Top cooking:

1. Sauté the onion until it is transparent and then add the celery. Continue to sauté the onion and celery over medium low heat until the onion has caramelized and has a light caramel brown color.

2. Add the squash, the sweet potato, the prunes, the agave, the cinnamon, the salt, and the bay leaf.

3. Cover the root vegetables with water, or with vegetable stock. The water line should reach  about 3/4 of an inch above the squash and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium low and cover with the lid. Continue to cook until the squash and sweet potato are tender, approximately one hour.

4. When the root vegetables are tender, remove the bay leaf and use a hand stick blender to puree. If you use a hand stick blender you will not have to blend in separate batches. Blend until it is smooth and homogeneous. (If you do not own a hand stick blender you can use a regular blender, though you may have to process it in two to three batches at a time. Pour the already made puree into a separate serving bowl, and continue blending until the whole batch is smooth and homogenous).

5. Pour the puree back into the cooking pot and add the ¾ cup nonfat milk. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

6. Adjust the seasonings.

Garnish with sliced green onions and toasted whole wheat bread crumbs.

Procedure for Pressure Cooker:

1. In the pressure cooker, sauté the onion until it is transparent and then add the celery. Continue to sauté the onion and celery over medium low heat until the onion has caramelized and has a light caramel brown color.

2. Add the squash, the sweet potato, the prunes, the agave, the cinnamon, the salt, and the bay leaf.

3. Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Heat the pressure cooker on high until you hear the sound of the steam being released from the pressure cooker. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for 6 minutes.

4. After cooking the root vegetables for 6 minutes, cool the pot under cold running water until the pressure drops and you can safely open the lid. Take the pot from the sink, open the lid, remove the bay leaf and use a hand stick blender to process until the puree is smooth and homogenous. (If you do not own a hand stick blender you can use a regular blender, though you may have to process it in two to three batches at a time. Pour the already made puree into a separate serving bowl, and continue blending until the whole batch is smooth and homogenous).

5. Add the milk and bring back to a simmer. Allow the puree to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

6. Adjust the seasonings.

Garnish of sliced green onions and toasted whole wheat bread crumbs.

Cheers to health and beauty!

Mireya

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