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Vegetables for Dessert: Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

For a few years now I have been a bit of a sugar nazi in our home. I don’t let the stuff in and I don’t want to feed it to my family. This is especially true during the winter when we are more susceptible to colds. Sugar is known to significantly lower your immune defenses in the hours after you eat it.

Yep, no sugar for you.

Thankfully there are foods that are naturally sweet and don’t even need added sugar. Fruit, for one, is an outstanding treat great for eating out of hand, dipped in nut butter, or for use in pies and pastries.

Even further down the road are the sweeter vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and winter squash, all of which are easy to find this time of year. Instead of serving something sweet at the end of the meal I incorporate a sweet vegetable into dinner, that way everyone gets a taste of something just a little sweet and we have curbed a dessert craving.

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Recipe note: I make quite a bit so that there are plenty of leftovers, but feel free to halve the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • sea salt to taste
  • honey for drizzling (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare squash: Place the squash on its side on a heavy cutting board. Using a large knife, cut the ends of the squash off so that you have two flat surfaces. Now cut the squash between the long shaft and the rounder bulb. Place the longer shaft portion on its, now flat, bottom and peel using either a heavy vegetable peeler or a chef’s knife. Chop this into 1/2 inch cubes. Peel the bulb section, chop in half, remove seeds, and then chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Repeat with second squash.
  3. Now divide the squash amongst two large sheet pans. Drizzle over coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon, and toss with your hands to evenly coat.
  4. Place sheet pans in your preheated oven and bake for 25-40 minutes or until very dark, almost burnt. You want it slightly crunchy on the outside for best flavor. Remove from oven and drizzle with honey if desired. Enjoy!

How are you cooking squash this winter?

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