When fall rolls around, we are always on the lookout for new squash recipes to add to our old time favorites. From pumpkin and butternut to acorn and “spaghetti,” winter squash provides a wealth of nutrition in the form of fiber, vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and even adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper and potassium. It’s also less starchy than white or sweet potatoes.

Roasting chunks of butternut or pumpkin in olive oil brings out a sweet, caramelized flavor that can be used in anything from soups and stews to breakfast puddings and even desserts. But simply baking the squash in the oven can produce results good enough to yield a delicious product with less peeling or prepping. Just cut squash in half, poke a few holes in the skin, and bake flesh side down on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes at 350. When squash is tender to the touch all the way through, it’s ready to come out of the oven and gently scooped out of the skin.

Following are three recipes using winter squash in creative ways. Best results will come from butternut, acorn, or pumpkin. The possibilities are endless.

Winter Squash Breakfast Pudding (1 serving)
Not your typical breakfast, but delicious and satisfying!
½ cup butternut or other sweet winter squash
2-4 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (from can – BPA free such as Native Forest)
1 Tbs ground flax seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
Sprinkle of coconut sugar or pure maple syrup, up to 1 teaspoon (optional)
2 Tbs crushed nuts like walnuts, almonds or pecans

Blend all ingredients except nuts in a food processor. Top with nuts and serve, warm or room temp.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (4- 6 servings)
Choose thyme or curry as your spice of choice – whatever strikes your fancy.
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil or olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
4-5 cups butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (OR 1 tsp curry)
4 cups organic chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 ounces full fat coconut milk (optional)

Saute carrots, celery and onion in coconut oil for about 6-8 minutes until soft. Add squash, chicken broth, and spices, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until squash is tender. Add in coconut milk (optional). Puree in batches in blender and return to pan. Heat and serve.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
winter squash cookies 2Cookies made out of vegetables! Makes approximately 18-20.
• 1 1/2 cups cooked winter squash or pumpkin
• 4 Tbs softened organic butter, ghee or coconut oil
• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or coconut nectar, OR 2 Tbs maple syrup and 2 Tbs coconut sugar
• 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups almond flour
• 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/3 cup of 70-85% dark chocolate chips (or an allergen free brand such as Enjoy Life) or chop a block roughly into chunks

In a bowl, mix the pumpkin pieces, butter/ coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Combine well to form a smooth batter. Stir through the chocolate chips/ chunks.

Spoon tablespoon sized rounds onto a grease-proof baking paper-lined tray. Spread out with the back of a spoon so they are about 1cm thick. Bake at 350F for about 15-20 minutes. They will still be soft and the underside should become golden brown.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. They are really good when they’re still warm!