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Nena Niessen

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Butternut Squash Miracle

Posted: 11/21/11 11:23 AM ET

Through history these vegetables have seen many and varied uses. The Romans used squash mixed with honey to aid the digestion. In some Mediterranean regions, certain types of squash are used as bottles once they have dried. In Native American tribes, squash was once such an important part of the diet that they buried it along with the dead to provide them nourishment on their final journey, and in my country, which is Nicaragua, squash were cooked with Dulce -- a type of molasses and cinnamon stick -- for several hours and given to the people that came to celebrate in honor of the Virgin Mary during the month of December.

We just now begun to discover the amazing powers of nourishment supplied by such mildly sweet-flavored squash! Who knew that these coarse gourds are holding within them a treasure of medicinal properties, which few appreciate even today? The particular composition of their skin make them one of the most beneficial foods available for maintaining healthy arteries, along with many other dietary application. You can see just how fantastic squash can be when it comes to these key antioxidants.

Squash is one of the lowest of any foods in fat and sodium. Squash has richness in beta-carotene and minerals such as potassium and calcium. So if you are a vegan or you want to go full calcium but not increase milk intake, then this is your vegetable! Squash has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a blood sugar regulator due to its high levels of soluble fiber and B vitamins.

The seeds can even be used as a snack. And I must say I personally love it! You can dehydrate (let them dry) or just place them in the oven with some spices at your pick and you've got yourself a wonder-delicious snack!

My recommendation is that you buy them organic when you can, because it is known as one of the 12 foods that carry residues of pesticides. Winter squash are best from August through March but they are in their prime from October to November.

And so I would like to share with you my favorite butternut squash soup.

It's simple, quick and very easy to make. Enjoy it as much as I do!

Butternut squash soup

Ingredients:

3 cups of butternut squash

2 medium tomatoes cut in quarters

1 medium red bell pepper cut in quarters

1 ½ of fresh raw almond milk (homemade)

1 cup of water

1 tsp of Herbamare seasoning

1 tsp of Mexican seasoning

½ tsp of Cinnamon

4 garlic cloves

1 medium shallot

Pinch of cayenne (optional but really good)

In a medium pot add the squash, tomatoes, bell pepper, shallots, garlic, spices and water. Cook approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Then transfer to a blender and add the almond milk and blend until smooth. Adjust the water or almond milk if necessary to get the desire consistency.

Herbamare seasoning and the Mexican seasoning, both organic, can be purchased at any health food store.