Buttercup Squash…the name invokes visions of delicate yellow vegetables hanging on a soft silken vine. But….
This is probably one of the ugliest veggies out there. It even out-uglies the famous “uglyripe” tomato.
But inside…oh, inside is the sweetest lightest softest substance I’ve ever tasted. The buttercup squash, or cucurbita maxima as it is known in the botanical relm is one of the most common varieties of winter squash. It has the most “squashed” shape of all the squashes and it is dark green with a rough exterior.
I had read about these being sweeter than sweet potatoes and wanted to see (or taste) for myself. It’s deliciously true.
I pierced the raw squash a few times with my fork (to make sure it was dead) and then baked it at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. The sticky sweetness tries to escape, so put a pan under your buttercup squash to catch it or you will have a smokey kitchen.
After it’s done, peel the outside back and you will see the vibrant orange flesh. I have read the texture of the buttercup squash can be dry, but I did not find that to be the case. I sunk my fork into the flesh and tasted a big mouthful.. It was like putting a sweet potato casserole…one with sugar added and whipped to perfection…into my mouth. Amazing.
Because of it’s vibrant orange color, you know it’s going to be loaded with vitamin A (one of the anti-oxidant vitamins that help to keep us young). One cup of buttercup squash has exactly 457% of the recommend daily allowance of vitamin A to be exact.
Tonight I will just scoop out the flesh, and season with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and serve as is. I can’t believe how good this will be. If it’s dry I can always add some Earth’s Balance (non-dairy spread made with no hydrogenation and nothing artificial).
You could substitute buttercup squash for any recipe you have with butternut, acorn squash or pumpkin. I posted an excellent recipe for Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup that I think would be very nice using buttercup squash in place of the pumpkin.
So pick up one of those ugly things that you don’t know what to do with and bring it home to try. You will never judge anything by its appearance again!
Nutritional info for buttercup squash:
1 cup serving size
Calories: 82, Fat: 0, Cholesterol: 0 (because only animal products contain cholesterol) Carbs: 22g, Protein 2g, Vitamin A 457% RDA, Vitamin C 52% DRA, Iron 7% RDA Calcium 8% RDA