Cooking out of the box: Butternut squash

It’s easy to get into a food rut, to cook things the same, day in, day out. But spicing things up in the kitchen doesn’t have to take any extra time or effort.

So vamoose, vanilla cooking. Farewell, predictability. Sayonara, sameness. Bye, well, you get the point.

To kick things off, here’s a few ways you can shake up the trusty butternut squash.

  1. Butternut for breakfast

Grate a good chunk of squash and mix with oats and milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon and leave in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, heat the mixture on the hob until the squash has softened, and add your preferred toppings. Try raisins or apple for a proper wintery start to the day, with a sprinkle of nuts on top, and add a spoonful of yogurt for a creamier texture.

2. Butternut dahl

When you think of dahl, you probably think of lentils. But butternut squash is a delicious alternative.

Heat up two chopped onions and two cloves of garlic in a pan until soft. Add two dozen curry leaves, and generous pinches of ground turmeric and cumin.

Stir in a grated butternut squash, a tin of lentils, a tin of coconut milk and 600ml of vegetable stock. Simmer for half an hour, making sure to keep stirring. Top with crispy onions on top, stir in a finely chopped chilli, and serve with warm bread of your choice.

And who says butternut squash has to be served as a savoury dish? Its sweet taste lends itself very well to sweeter dishes.

3. Caramelised butternut squash

Simply peel and cut your squash into bitesize chunks, and pour over 6 teaspoons’ worth of melted unsalted butter, one quarter of a cup of brown sugar, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until the squash is soft enough to get a fork through it and the glaze has caramelised. Yum.

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