Dangerous Curves Ahead: Why Butternut Squash Is the New Sweet Potato

My summer CSA share from The Silverbrook Farm in Acushnet ended a few weeks ago. It was a sad day. After receiving 14 weeks of amazing, healthy, farm-fresh, and LOCAL produce every Thursday afternoon like clockwork, it came to end. I tried to prepare myself, but I cannot tell a lie, the separation hasn’t been easy. Fortunately, enrollment is already starting for next year, so like any CSA groupie does, I’ve got June 8th plugged into my calendar. Wait, CSA groupies don’t exist? I’ve got to get out more.


One of the goodies that we received during the last few weeks of the share was my very favorite, butternut squash. I go into hoarding mode with these things, storing them for the winter like a squirrel does nuts. Fortunately, my garden yielded two solid beauties, so my stash has a little more cushion. That is before the groundhog got to them. But I digress.

So this begs the question, why am I so obsessed with this late fall gem? Here’s why:

Exhibit A: This is no disrespect to my other love, the sweet potato, but cup for cup, sweet potatoes more than double the content of squash in calories, carbs, and (naturally-occurring) sugar.

–                         Sweet Potato                Butternut Squash

Calories           130                              60

Carbs               33 grams                       16 grams

Sugar               7 grams                        3 grams

Exhibit B: While both are high in B vitamins, the squash is higher in folate, a must in the diets future and soon-to-be mamas, as well as mega-antioxidant vitamin E, and bone-building calcium.

However, the squash must concede when it comes to fiber content, with the sweet potato taking first place (4 grams vs. 2.8 grams) and the “pain in the butt” factor when it comes to peeling and slicing, which I’ve tried to reduce for you here.

Step 1: Slice the top and bottom off of the squash, so you can stand the squash on a cutting board without it toppling over.

Step 1

Step 2: Standing the squash upright (with the bottom of the “bell”) resting on the cutting board, take a large knife and slice the squash right down the middle.

Step 2

Step 3: Scoop out the seeds, rinse, and save them to roast. Yes, you can eat butternut squash seeds just like pumpkin seeds. No waste, baby!  Check out this easy and delicious Sweet ‘N Salty Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe that can be adapted.

Step 3

Step 4: Using a vegetable peeler, peel each side of the squash and then cut into cubes or slices (depending on what you’re making).

Step 4

Besides this Butternut Curried Bisque, which doubles (or triples) beautifully, freezes like a champ, and is totally toddler-friendly (a BIG plus for this busy mama), one of my other favorite ways to enjoy this mighty winter squash is making these Roasted Butternut Squash Fries. They take the O-M-G factor in sweet potato fries to a whole new level. Yes, really.

Roasted Butternut Squash Fries

Kristen Boucher is an RN and Health and Wellness coach.  She can also be found blogging at mixwellness.com.

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About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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15 Responses to Dangerous Curves Ahead: Why Butternut Squash Is the New Sweet Potato

  1. A.C. says:

    I enjoy squash as well, and find for the smoother skinned winter squashes:
    using a Titan serrated wide peeler works -very- nicely.
    once most is peeled, depending on your skill & grip, it may be easier or more secure to use a towel to rest on as well as ‘grip’ the squash. (a tad overkill for me, but for some: for safety’s sake)
    > that serrated peeler is often used and is well worth the $15 or less investment.
    -hope that serves you well.

  2. Eula says:

    It’s remarkable to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues concerning this article,
    whiloe I am alswo keen oof getting knowledge.

  3. I live in Australia and am wondering what an Egyptian walking onion is. If you could provide a photo it may help me to identify it and keep an eye out for it at markets. We sell our home grown honey at a market.

    • Joyce says:

      An Egyptian walking onion is a shallot. It is also called a winter onion. You leave it in the ground all year long.You can harvest after the first season, but it is best to wait for at least 3 seasons. The first season you get little seeds on the top as you would a garlic or chive and it reseeds itself. The second year the little seeds are the size of pearl onions and can be harvested for such or again let it reseed. It is called walking because eventually the top bends over , or walks, and plants its seeds The third season the seeds are much larger and so will be the bulb in the ground.

  4. renchick says:

    For those lazy cooks, like me, here’s some more tips. I put the whole squash in an oven safe dish with about an inch of water at about 350-400 degrees. You don’t have to cut it first!

    Also, there’s a kind of winter squash called squash delectica whose skin you can eat! 🙂

    A thousand cheers for squash and thanks for your article 😀

  5. Anonymous says:

    My favorite vegetable, but I use my mother’s method for cooking. Slice the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about an hour, or until it “gives” with a squeeze. Remove from oven, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and throw away the skin.

  6. Yes, I have belonged to a CSA for a couple of years now and stock up at season’s end on butternut squash (lasts over a month in my cool garage), tomatoes and peppers (both freeze well) and broccoli.

  7. KTB- love the nutritional comparison! And, I love the tips for peeling/prep. I am definitely going to try this technique the next time I make your bomb butternut squash/apple soup. Oh, and I will also try those fries. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Roasted Butternut Squash Fries | For The Love Of Fiber

  9. eSS says:

    Thanks for all the great info. We’ve never thought about the nutritional comparison to sweet potato. And a great tip to peel with a veggie peeler, less waste than using a knife.
    Scallions are a particular favorite of my – we grow Egyptian walking onions – I’d love to find a way to store those.

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