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Easy ways to add nutritious butternut squash to your diet

With health benefits and delicious taste there is nothing more comforting than fueling well with natural ingredients, such as the butternut squash.

DENVER — As the colder months are approaching, we turn to more than our wool socks and sweaters to keep us comfortable and warm. 

Food becomes a major source of comfort during this time and it is important to remind yourself that there are options that can fill you up, without filling out your favorite pants. 

Fall offers a variety of food, such as squashes, pumpkins, and apples that can be transformed into savory, filling meals.  

Amongst the many recipes available for the fall season, a crowd please is always a classic homemade roasted butternut squash soup.

Butternut squash is a winter squash that offers an array of health benefits that can utilized in many different recipes. This specific type of squash is high in fiber, vitamins A, C, E, and B, and contains minerals such as calcium, zinc, and magnesium. 

Most winter squash, including butternut squash, have the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which in addition to vitamin A are important for eye health. A 2019 study found that consumption of high levels of vitamin A, like that found in winter squash, was linked to a lower risk of skin cancer. 

Beta-carotene, another carotenoid found in this squash has been linked in studies to better brain health and the fiber content in this vegetable has been found in studies to be supportive of better gut health.  

With so many health benefits it is hard to resist this recipe in the colder months.  

Here are some tips to remember while in the kitchen:  

  • You will want to roast the squash before adding it to your soup. Drizzle it with olive oil and dash on some salt and pepper and roast it in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees. This will brown the squash and enhance its natural flavors.  
  • Sautee all other vegetables first before adding any stick to your pot, this will intensify they flavor and make for a more savory soup.
  • For some extra spice, add some chili flakes or paprika toasted pepitas  
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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