B: Bananas and Butternut Squash
Week two of the alphabet! The yummy letter B!
I just couldn’t decide between bananas and butternut squash…they’re both so amazingly healthy and nourishing. So I’m going to focus on both this week! Don’t worry…not mixed together…although…ideas…People seem to have a love/hate relationship with bananas and I don’t know why! They are incredibly good for you, already come portion controlled and are delicious. Not to mention versatile! For more information, check out my blog post You can’t get fat eating bananas. Because you can’t.
Don’t love eating a banana straight up? The uses are endless! For my kids, when they don’t want to eat fruit, I’ll make some “Monkey Milk”. This is a banana blended in milk. That’s all. They LOVE it. It could be the name, could be the taste…but it’s probably the straw. Stick a straw in something, and they’ll drink it.
Make some banana muffins! Banana bread! Just stay away from the white sugar and flour. Banana pancakes…yum. They are an excellent base for smoothies. But I would have to say one of my favourite ways to eat bananas…is frozen. I’m lucky enough to have a “Yonana machine” that blends frozen bananas into delicious frozen “yogurt” type dessert. It’s UNBELIEVEABLE how good this is. I add some frozen berries for the kids and voila! They think it’s ice cream and I couldn’t be happier. You can also blend bananas up in a food processor and it’s basically the same thing…but I’m all for yonanas (No, they did not pay me to say that).
As for Butternut Squash, these beautiful vegetables are full of fibre, vitamins A and C and potassium. Typically, the brighter the vegetable, the better it is for you. And these are brilliant. The tops of these guys are the meaty part (the seeds are in the bulb in the bottom) so I always look for the top-heavy bad boys. You can eat the skin or peel it off, up to you.
Roast it, steam it, puree it. Add to soups, colour for a healthier mac n’ cheese, or cube into a curry. I like to have cooked and pureed butternut squash on hand to add to pretty much everything I can. Spaghetti sauce, pancakes, muffins, cookies, desserts, oatmeal-the possibilities are endless. This veggie is so sweet but can also be used in everything savory. An incredibly versatile and disguisable vegetable, it’s perfect for first foods for babies and keeping toddlers and kids happy. I’m also obsessed with spiraling vegetables these days and butternut squash did not escape. I made “noodles” out of this stuff for a delicious stirfry. YUM.
But my ultimate favourite has to be butternut squash soup. You can feel yourself getting healthier while eating it. Here’s how you do it:
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 sweet (Vidalia) onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bright orange carrot
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 4 cups broth of choice
- salt and pepper
In a large pot, add onion, carrot and garlic to olive oil over medium heat. Let soften. Add curry and turmeric. Cook another minute. Add squash. Cook two minutes. Turn heat up to high and add broth. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches (be careful-do NOT burn yourself! It just sucks).
Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy. Serve over fresh baby spinach leaves or just in a mug on a cold winter’s day. See? Feel healthier, don’t you?
It’s not going to stop here everyone! Next week…the letter “C”…oooo-the possibilities!
Keep eating the rainbow and don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly blog! You’ll get a reminder and won’t miss one delicious letter. Have a great and colourful week!