Springtime is one of my favorite times of the year. This week I finally finished planting my garden, and I always anxiously wait for all of my seeds to start sprouting and for my plants to start growing. One of my favorite vegetables I plant every year is butternut squash. I always plant acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash, but butternut squash is my favorite! It is super easy to grow, even from seed, and mine do great every year with little tending. So if you like to garden and haven’t added winter squash to your garden, I highly recommend it!
Here is one of my favorite recipes using butternut squash.
Butternut Squash & Quinoa
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
Directions: Sauté butternut squash in oil over medium heat until it begins to soften. Add quinoa and spices. Lightly toast quinoa until golden, about 1 minute. Add broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes until quinoa is fluffy.
Butternut squash is a super food for anyone, but especially for pregnant women! One of the reasons is the impressive vitamin A content of butternut squash—just ½ cup pumpkin provides over 200% of your daily needs. The vitamin A in butternut squash comes mostly from beta-carotene, which is also responsible for the bright orange color of the squash’s flesh. Beta-carotene is essential for proper lung development in fetuses and in newborns—making it important both in pregnancy and during lactation. Butternut squash is also high in fiber and vitamin C.
Quinoa is a whole grain and a great plant protein source that contains all of the essential amino acids, which makes it a favorite for vegans and vegetarians. It is a good source of fiber, zinc, and iron, all of which are especially important during pregnancy. It is also rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Store quinoa in the refrigerator in an airtight container to help maintain its freshness.
Ground Ginger and Cinnamon
This recipe also calls for ground ginger and cinnamon, which gives it an amazing flavor. Believe it or not many herbs and spices are loaded with nutrients and can provide powerful health benefits for you. Ginger is commonly known during pregnancy to help alleviate nausea. So if you are suffering from morning sickness adding more ginger to your diet might help. Cinnamon is known to help with blood sugar regulation so if you are concerned about developing or have developed gestational diabetes cinnamon is one little thing that might help along with avoiding simple carbs and keeping overall carb intake at a moderate level.