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Seasonal Eats: Butternut, the King of Winter Squash

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Butternut Squash at the Farmers' Market (Heather Parlato/LAist)
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Butternut squash are right in the middle of their Southern California season, which starts at the end of September and runs until the beginning of March. As one of the more popular winter squash, butternut has a sweet and nutty taste similar to pumpkin, with deep orange fleshy pulp.

Butternut Squash has a glycemic load of 5 and is mildly anti-inflammatory due to its high content of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamine E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Potassium and Manganese.

Traditional favorite preparations include roasting cut, seasoned pieces of the squash, or cooking and then puréeing into soup or a tasty mash. This winter squash round-up has some great ideas of how to get started and build on your own favorite flavors.

5 ways to enjoy butternut squash:

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Butternut Squash Salad — Enjoy a mix of arugala, roasted seasoned butternut squash, mung beans and feta cheese in a fresh salad.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar — A simple way to blend the natural sugars found in the squash with aged balsamic vinegar.

Butternut Squash, Apple and Onion Galette with Stilton — A great selection of delicious fall flavors in a savory side-dish galette.

Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs — Sage and butternut squash are a favorite pairing, and this recipe really infuses the sage flavor into the breadcrumb topping. Make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Butternut Squash, Apple, Cranberry Bake — Go over to the dessert side, sweetening butternut squash with fall fruits in a crust-less treat.