Combine roasted butternut squash, silky maple syrup, and crunchy pecans and you get the makings for a dish that sings Autumn in Michigan. I can’t wait to share this recipe with you! My friend and teacher, Jill Beckman, made this for a dinner she hosted last month and we all could not get enough of it.
The health benefits of butternut squash
A one cup serving can contain almost 500 mg of potassium. This electrolyte mineral keeps the brain, muscles, and heart healthy. It can also help balance blood sugar, improve bone health, and keep your nerves firing optimally. It’s electrolyte properties allows for fluid balance in the body. Potassium’s most commonly known claim to fame is balancing blood pressure.
Chock full of vitamin A, butternut squash is a delicious way to get in this important nutrient. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps with vision, skin health and it is an excellent antiviral. Keep that in mind as we approach cold and flu season.
With a hefty amount of fiber, this fall vegetable will keep your bowels moving. This is important because after all the work your liver and kidneys did to remove toxins, you don’t want it sitting around in your colon just to be reabsorbed and have to go through all of that work again.
High in Vitamin C, butternut squash will help keep your immune system strong. Remember that sugar competes for vitamin C receptor sites. This means that the more sugar you ingest the less vitamin C is working to keep your immune system up. Keep away from chewable vitamin C supplements because it can damage your teeth.
Pecans are rich in magnesium
Magnesium is natures muscle relaxant and pecans are a great source of this mineral. It also helps reduce the risk of heart disease because it is an anti-inflammatory and lowers blood pressure. Magnesium also decreases the risk of stroke and cancer.
A word on maple syrup
I don’t have anything against maple syrup if you don’t have a blood sugar or heart issue. Maple syrup is divine in so many recipes. It is infinitely better than artificial sweeteners and has antioxidant properties to boot. Maple syrup also provides the mineral zinc. Zinc is important for the immune system and the health of the prostate gland in men.
If you want to avoid the sugar content but enjoy the maple-y goodness, I suggest Nature’s Hollow Maple Syrup. It is sweetened with xylitol. It is not a health food but if you are needing to avoid sugar, this is the ticket. If you want a recipe to make the syrup yourself, try this one.
This is great as a side dish but I like it for breakfast too. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know. Download the recipe HERE.