If you love a sweet nutty flavour then stop the bus, it is time to get off. Meet Butternut Squash. They look like stretched versions of their cousin, pumpkins, and make a great alternative to potatoes. Butternut squash contains antioxidants including beta-carotene which gives it such a vibrant orange colour. It also contains phytonutrients which have been linked with eye health. First: Peel the skin, cut open, scoop out the seeds and then cut into 3cm chunks. You can then either coat in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe some garlic and roast in a tin in an oven pre-heated to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 for 25-30 mins, or boil ‘em up until soft, and mash them just like spuds with a little butter, pepper and salt. Butternut squash is easy to store - just leave it in a cool dark cupboard or even on the counter when whole and unpeeled where it will last for months! Once peeled and/or cut, keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To freeze, just peel and chop into cubes, then spread the cubed squash out on a tray and freeze for a few hours before popping into a freezer bag or container for up to 6 months. To prep butternut squash, use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin, cut off the 'lid' and the base, then cut in half to get a smaller top section and large bottom one. Halve them lengthways and scoop the seeds out from the bottom half (don't chuck them - remove all the squash bits, rinse and pat dry, then toss in a little oil and salt and roast for 10 mins for a wasteless snack!). You can then cut the squash into chunks. Alternatively, you can leave the skin on to bake/roast it, and even scoop out the seeds after baking/roasting halved if you like.
At Its Best: September - November