Fall has arrived. I love the changes that each new season brings, especially when it comes to foods and the opportunity to try different seasonal fruits and vegetables. Two of the most anticipated seasonal vegetables for my family are butternut squash and Brussels sprouts! Walking into the grocery store this past weekend we spotted the beautiful orange of butternut squash already pre-cubed and ready to go (I opted for convenience!). If you eat dinner with my family around this time of year, you are guaranteed to have one of these two vegetables on your plate at least once a week. With the great food supply that we have, you may be able to find butternut squash or Brussels sprouts at various times through the year, however, the fall marks the start of their peak harvest time. These veggies can be prepared in many different ways, but I have included a few of my personal favorites.
Butternut squash is actually a fruit, yet primarily used and referred to as a vegetable. It is similar in sweetness and color to a sweet potato, however, it boasts a nutty taste that gives it a savory kick! The rich orange color screams fall!
Also known as winter squash, butternut squash is at peak harvest starting in September through December. Due to its durability, it may be found year round.
Butternut squash is a part of the Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) family. It is closely related to pumpkin. In Australia and New Zealand, it is known as “butternut pumpkin.”
More bang for your buck… nutritionally speaking. Butternut squash is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium and dietary fiber.
How it’s purchased
Butternut squash may be purchased as a whole squash (as pictured above), or it is often available in pre-cubed pieces- ready to cook!
Sweet and Savory Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup finely sliced purple onion
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. roasted red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the above ingredients until thoroughly coated. Place on the baking sheet, in a single layer, without overcrowding the pieces. Roast about 30-40 minutes, turn the pan about halfway through baking. When cubes are fork-tender, remove from oven immediately. Check squash around 25 minutes to prevent overcooking.
Laura’s Delicious Butternut Squash Bisque (A Family Favorite)
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3-4 lbs): peeled, seeded, cut into 1” cubes
- 14.5 oz low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 Tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- Pepper and salt as needed
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat butter on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft (5-7 minutes). Add squash, broth, half & half, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until squash is tender. Approximately 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and other seasonings as desired. Enjoy! **Personal note: I like to add in cooked, shredded chicken breast for an extra kick of protein**
Brussels sprouts have long gotten a bad rap as a less than desirable vegetable. If you’ve never tried them, I urge you to give them a whirl. With a variety of preparation methods, they may just become a new family favorite.
California is the number one producer of Brussels sprouts in the United States, although they are grown in several areas throughout the country. Ideally, Brussels sprouts are planted in the spring or summer, making them ready for a fall harvest.
Brussels sprouts are a part of the cole crop family- Brassica oleracea. This includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi.
Brussels sprouts are loaded with nutrients! They are a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folate, dietary fiber and potassium- just to name a few!
How they’re purchased
Brussels sprouts may be purchased on the stalk, or you may opt for convenience with pre-picked and pre-washed Brussels sprouts. They can also be found in the freezer section.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 2 lb Brussels sprouts
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt (optional)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly. Trim off end and peel the outer layer. Slice in half. Mix the Brussels sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil, pecans, black pepper and garlic powder. Place them on a baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. You may turn the Brussels sprouts occasionally for even roasting. Top with fresh parmesan cheese if desired.
Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts (rinse and trim ends, then halve lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
ORANGE VINAIGRETTE dressing:
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
Toss all ingredients together until combined. To make the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together until combined. Enjoy! (recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven recipes)
What is your family’s favorite way to serve delicious fall vegetables and fruits? Let us know in the comments below!