This is what my backyard looks like at the moment, and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. So if it is this white here, I can only imagine how cold it is getting in other areas of the country. So I realized that I better share this recipe sooner rather than later, because I know I am going to be making myself some later on today, and it’s only fair that y’all are able to too! This is a good one folks.
I love soup regardless of the type of weather, but it makes for the absolute perfect meal when it is freezing cold outside and you can cuddle up with your bowl and feel your body warm up instantly as you take your first bite.
Honestly – I had just about given up on enjoying a creamy cup of soup. I grew up obsessed with broccoli cheddar soup. Talking about it just makes my mouth water. I love the cheesy creamy deliciousness of it. But then I got older, started thinking about my health, and realized that most creamy soups are made with fatty cheeses, heavy creams, butters, and all those ingredients I don’t want to be ingesting too much of on a regular basis. It might be winter but we’ve all got a summer body to think about here too right!?
But this soup changed the game. It is SO creamy, and it is all because of the butternut squash. NO additives bringing up the fat or calorie content of this dish. It is a warm creamy soup that you can feel good about eating, because the squash is actually good for you! Keep reading to learn more.
Health Benefits of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a true power food. First of all it is a low calorie, low fat, option. It also contains a great amount of dietary fiber, which is beneficial in helping reduce bad cholesterol, and promoting heart health. A one-cup serving of chopped butternut squash only has about 60 calories, trace amounts of fat (aka almost zero), while providing over three grams of fiber. You can learn more about why fiber is so important here.
It is also high in many different minerals and nutrients. Among some of them are potassium, B vitamins, manganese, and folate. Potassium helps prevent fluid retention (great to fight against bloating) and is important for bone health. The vitamin B6 found in butternut squash is essential for proper function of both the immune and nervous system. Manganese is important for to promote bone health by aiding in calcium absorption (which as we age, is harder for our body to do) and improves the mineral density of the spinal column. Folate is also good for heart and brain health, can help prevent birth defects in newborns, and has been known to aid in maintaining males’ fertility.
The orange color of the butternut squash, similar to that of a carrot, is indicative of its high beta-carotene content. These nutrients are an incredible benefit of eating butternut squash. They protect against heart disease, cancers (breast cancer in particular) as well as fight the effects of macular degeneration. They of course are also great for maintaining healthy eye function!
Lastly, butternut squash has a high antioxidant content. Just a one-cup serving has almost half of a grown adult’s daily recommended value of vitamin C. The antioxidants found in butternut squash serve to provide anti-inflammatory effects, which can help prevent, or reduce the effects of, disorders such as arthritis and asthma.
And these are just a few of the great benefits butternut squash has to offer! If you do more research into the topic you will find countless ways that incorporating it into your diet can help keep you healthier.
Make the Meal
Okay now that you know why you should eat this soup, it is time to learn how. As if you needed any more reasons to convince you this is a great dish to make, you will be glad to hear that it is also extremely easy to prepare!
First you will bake the squash, similar to as if you were going to be roasting it. Just slice it in half lengthwise, de-seed, spray with olive oil, season with some salt and pepper, and pop in the oven!
The next step is to saute your onion, garlic, and salt – this helps make the onions tender and the garlic fragrant – allowing them to blend more easily with the other ingredients, and provide more flavor to the meal.
Lastly, get out your favorite blender or food processor ( I LOVE my Ninja) and mix with the broth until you reach the consistency you are looking for! Seriously simple stuff here.
Then all you need to do is pour yourself a huge bowl (which you can do guilt free because of how good it is for you) and cuddle up with your favorite blanket, your dog, significant other, or children – whoever you may be spending this snow day with – and enjoy!
Love butternut squash as much as I do? Next time you aren’t sure what to serve with your favorite main dish, try my super easy side dish, roasted butternut squash. It makes for a great quick, heart healthy (and delicious!) addition to any lunch or dinner. With options for both sweet or savory, it is guaranteed to please just about anyone.