Squash Indigestion: Eat For Your Gut’s Health
Keeping your bowel movements regular means a healthier colon. Eating the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber daily and drinking plenty of water are two of the best ways to keep everything “on schedule.”
Winter squash is one of the highest-fiber vegetables in the produce section, so here are a few facts about this “nearly super” food:
- One cup of cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard, acorn or butternut) ranges from 7-10 grams of fiber.
- When picking your squash avoid soft spots and cracks. Try to find the squash that is heaviest for its size.
- Color is not everything; many types of squash come in a variety of colors. For example acorn squash can be yellow, dark green, tan or orange.
- Squash can be stored uncut in a cool, dark, dry place for 1-3 months (depending on variety.)
- Just like a pumpkin, all squash seeds can be roasted for a healthy, crunchy snack.
Another thing that makes squash a strong choice is its versatility. Their neutral, potato-like taste makes them perfect vehicles for almost any flavor, such as:
- Want sweet? Season with cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Going for savory? Toss with garlic and rosemary.
- Feeling adventurous? Sprinkle with cumin and chili powder.
South of the Border Squash Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- ½ cup carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 butternut or Hubbard squash (approximately 2 ½ pounds) peeled, seeded and cubed
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup tomato puree
- Black pepper, to taste
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrot, and garlic cooking for 3 minutes.
- Cover the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Stir in the squash, jalapenos, chicken broth and tomato puree.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Mash the squash to desired consistency.
- Season to taste with pepper and salt.
- Serve with lime wedges if desired.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 whole butternut squashes (approximately 4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 2 cups granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- Ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup low fat milk
- About 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- Optional: ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Coat the squashes in canola oil and place on the lined baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 60-90 minutes, turning the squash every 20 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. (Squash can be cut in half prior to roasting to reduce cooking time)
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion, and cook until onions are translucent and just beginning to caramelize. Add the diced apple and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the minced garlic and crushed red chili flakes and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
- When the squash is ready and removed from the oven, set baking sheet on wire rack until squash is cool enough to handle. Cut squash in half and use a spoon to scoop the seeds out. Peel off and discard the skin, and add the flesh into the pot with the onion mixture.
- Add the vegetable broth with the squash and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
- Return pot to heat and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up any large pieces of squash.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in milk and sage.
- Use blender, immersion blender, food processor or potato masher to achieve desired consistency.
- Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds, if using.