I’ve recently been playing around with adding in and diversifying my carb intake a bit. Yes, I am Paleo, and yes I am still allowed to and do eat carbohydrates. I know. Crazy. But seriously, a lot of people get stuck with the notion that we can only get carbs from the bottom of the traditional food pyramid – aka: grains, grains, and more grains. Nope. False. Let me introduce you to the vegetable, the fruit, the squash, the sweet potato (I recognize the last two are covered previously, but work with me here…) There are so many other, arguably much, much better ways for your gut and thus yourself to get quality carbohydrates than from the bottom of the food pyramid, which is totally whacked out anyways in my opinion.
I love sweet potatoes perhaps more than one should – at the beginning of my Paleo experience my hands actually turned orange from the amount of sweet potatoes I was consuming – no joke. My hands have returned to their normal hue, but I have decided that this week is the week of the butternut squash. I usually make this recipe with olive oil, but I think the trick this time was using coconut oil instead. It ended up caramelizing the squash = sheer awesomeness. You can always stop at the roasting step and have some kick ass, roasted butternut squash, or you can keep going to the food processor and have versatile, pureed goodness. I felt like something a little sweet, adorable, and dessert-like so I put mine in a mug, heated it up, and topped it with coconut milk, coconut flakes, and cinnamon. Loved it! (I failed to capture the cinnamon version with photographic evidence because I consumed it too quickly, so add the aesthetically pleasing touch of cinnamon to the pic below and you've got it.)
How it’s Done:
1 butternut squash
1/2 cup coconut milk
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Peel your squash – watch yourself as it’s sort of a tricky endeavor – and scrape out all of the seeds. Cut your squash into smallish cubes and throw them on a baking tray. Somewhere between drizzle and a pour your coconut oil over your squash, making sure you have enough for each piece to be generously coated. Top with salt and pepper and then mix the whole experience up with your hands to makes sure every piece gets an equal amount of oil and spice love. Put your squash in the over for 20-25 minutes – or until the pieces are tender, cooked through, and attaining a marvelous brown color around the edges.
Throw all of your squash into the food processor with your coconut milk and press on. Done.
You can totally rock this mash savory style too with steak and greens or any other combination of dinner counterparts you see fit. Feeling adventurous? You could also make said mash into a breakfast experience by having some fried eggs, perhaps pecans, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of real maple syrup on top. Make it your own!
By: Maddie Berky
Maddie is a writer, blogger, storyteller & holistic nutritionist. She is not a purveyor of answers, but an asker of questions. And she seeks not to construct the most perfect plate, but rather uncover the human siting down to that plate who is worthy and nourished and alive. Our relationship with food creates this beautiful opportunity to explore who we are and train who we want to become. It asks us to engage with these multifaceted drives of hunger and nourishment and pleasure. Can we receive? Can we trust ourselves? Can we connect - to our plate, to our body, to our partner? It is the answer to those questions that not only affects what is on our plate, but more importantly, the space we take up in this world.
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