We typically remove the skin from butternut squash before chopping it into bite-sized pieces. But what if we told you that the skin of butternut squash is edible and loaded with health advantages?
Butternut squash is a fruit high in essential minerals and vitamins like Vitamin B and C.
Butternut squash has also demonstrated benefits, including reduced protection against diseases like cancer. Read on to get the clarification and answer is it safe to eat butternut squash skin?
What Is A Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash comes under the broad category of winter squashes. It is a fruit that typically weighs anywhere between three and five pounds (1). It belongs to the Cucurbita moschata genus and originates from Massachusetts.
This squash is a hybrid between the Hubbard squash and the Canadian crookneck. You can easily recognize butternut squash by its distinctive shape, which makes it look like a water bottle. Its skin has hues of different tan colors like orange and yellow.
Since the seeds and pulp are located at the end of the fruit, the fruit’s long shape is made entirely of flesh. Although the skin is edible, most people choose not to eat it raw. However, butternut squash can be cooked with the skin, and after cooking, the skin can have a distinctive taste that many like.
Can You Eat Butternut Squash Skin?
Butternut squash skin is edible and used worldwide to make some delicious delicacies. You can also eat butternut squash skin as it, but its firm texture and bitter taste may not taste so delicious. Hence, the best way to eat butternut squash skin is to cook it.
You can incorporate butternut squash into many dishes or roast it and eat it as a healthy alternative to chips.
How Does Butternut Squash Skin Taste?
The taste of butternut squash skin and the squash within the skin are very similar. The bitterness in it serves to balance the sweetness of the squash. The flavor of butternut squash without the skin appeals to certain people who dislike eating sweet fruits.
But, if you do not enjoy bitter fruits, you can easily make a meal by adding a few components and balancing the flavor. You can also expect the butternut squash skins to have varying tastes in different seasons.
Compared to the summers, butternut squash skin may feel harder to eat and bitter in winter. Winter squash is more developed than summer squash, which provides them more time to produce a firmer outer layer to preserve the fruit.
Finding little butternut squashes is the key since their skin is easier to eat.
How to Cook Butternut Squash Skin
There are several methods to prepare butternut squash skin and include it in your daily cooking. Here are a few recipes for butternut squash skin:
Butter Nut Squash Skin Chips
Butternut squash skin chips serve as a healthy alternative to unhealthy snacks, and the best part is that they taste just like chips. To make butternut squash skin chips, preheat your over to 190 degrees Celsius, peel butternut squash, and save it for other recipes.
Next, cut the skin into small pieces and season it with olive oil and your choice of seasoning.
Now you can chuck it into the oven and roast it for around twenty minutes. Don’t forget to turn the chips around midway to ensure both sides get cooked evenly.
After twenty minutes, ensure the chips have turned golden brown and serve the butternut squash skin chips hot paired with some ketchup or sauce.
Use As Stuffing
You can also get creative with butternut squash skin and try new ways to incorporate it into dishes. For example, if you like stuffed bread or peppers, you can mix butternut squash skin into the stuffing to add a unique taste to your dish.
Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
If you like eating butternut squash, then a great way to eat it with the skin is to roast the butternut squash without removing the skin. Just add some paprika salt or seasoning of your choice, add some extra virgin olive oil and add it to your oven until it turns golden brown.
Roasted butternut squash, along with the skin, is extra nutritious and tastes extra delicious. You can also use roasted butternut squash as sidelines for dishes like steaks or add them to your salad for a kick of taste.
You can also make delicious butternut squash soup by roasting butternut squash along with the skin. You will have to place the butternut squash in the oven for around fifty minutes and then mix it along with a few other ingredients in a pan until it forms a soupy texture.
These recipes can be enjoyed by everyone starting from kids to adults. Moreover, if you are tired of your kids eating unhealthy junk food, these butternut squash skin recipes are also a great way to trick them into eating healthier.
Health Advantages of Eating Butternut Squash Skin
Did you know that according to USDA, more than 450 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A and more than 50 percent for vitamin C are each present in only one cup of butternut squash (2)?
Beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C are a few of the numerous antioxidants in butternut squash. Vitamin C is essential for wound healing, collagen formation, and tissue repair.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant in butternut squash that assists in preventing free radical damage and helps reduce the chance of developing serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s (5).
Here are a few health benefits you can enjoy, thanks to the antioxidant properties of butternut squash skin:
- Protects against cancer: Research suggests that eating a diet rich in some antioxidants in butternut squash skin, like vitamin C and carotenoid antioxidants, can lower your chance of developing specific malignancies. Moreover, research has shown that increasing your consumption of vitamin C and beta-carotene in your diet may decrease the likelihood of developing lung cancer. According to an evaluation of round eighteen pieces of research, individuals who consumed the most beta-carotene had a 24 percent chance of developing lung cancer than those who consumed the least amount (6).
- Boost weight loss: Butternut squash is an excellent food choice if you want to shed extra weight because it has just 83 calories per cup. The Particularly found in butternut squash skin has been linked to fat loss and proven to decrease hunger, which is crucial when attempting to limit your calorie consumption. Numerous studies have shown that increasing dietary fiber consumption encourages a decrease in body fat and helps shed weight. According to research including 4000+ kids and teenagers, those who consumed foods rich in fiber had a 21 percent lower chance of becoming obese than the ones who ate food with low fiber contents (7).
- Reduce the risk of stroke: High dietary intake of antioxidants like vitamins E and C, both present in butternut squash in abundance, have been proven to lower the likelihood of strokes (8,9).
- Minimize the risk of developing heart disease: Consuming fruits and vegetables has decreased the risk of heart disease. Moreover, it has been proven that foods like butternut squash and yellow and orange skins are very good for preventing heart disease. These veggies have significant antioxidant content, which boosts a healthy heart. According to research on 2000+ participants, eating more yellow and orange veggies daily reduced cardiovascular disease risk by 23 percent (10). These vegetables also have carotenoid contents, which are believed to preserve cardiac health by decreasing inflammation and controlling blood pressure.
Now that you have the answer to can you eat butternut squash skin, use the different methods mentioned here to create new recipes with butternut squash skin.
This article shows that eating butternut squash and its skin offers many health benefits. So, we should use the fruit without wasting its nutritional benefits by peeling away the skin.
1. How to Peel Butternut Squash Skin?
You can peel butternut squash just how you peal any other vegetable or fruit. Use a sharp knife or peeler and carefully peel thin layers of the butternut squash skin and use it to make unique recipes.
2. Can You Eat Butternut Squash Skin Without Worrying About Any Side Effects?
Butternut squash skin is edible, and eating it has no side effects. Butternut squash skin recipes are suitable for both adults and children. However, eat it in normal portions since too much butternut squash skin might trigger diarrhea.
3. Is There Any Easy Method Of Removing Butternut Squash Skin?
The skin of butternut squash is firm. Hence, removing the skin with a knife may be difficult. To remove the skin of butternut squash, cut off both ends of the squash and microwave it for around three and a half minutes. Doing so helps reduce the firmness of the skin and makes it softer. Allow the squash to cool down or hold it with a cloth and peel thin layers of the skin.
4. How Do You Know A Butternut Squash Has Gone Bad?
You can tell if the butternut squash has gone rotten by the skin and texture. If the butternut squash skin has dark patches and the fruit has a slimy and sticky feel, you should probably avoid eating it.
5. How Long Will An Uncut Butternut Squash Last?
Depending on how it is stored, butternut squash will last for two to three months. The ideal location to keep a butternut squash is at room temperature in a cool, dry environment. Make sure you don’t keep butternut squash near any sources of sunlight, as this might cause the fruit to ripen even more.
6. Can I Freeze Peeled Butternut Squash?
The best way to freeze peeled butternut squash is to place the pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper, spread them out evenly, and then freeze.
7. What Is The Best Place To Buy Butternut Squash?
The best place to buy butternut squash is from a farmer’s market, as you can pick out fresh butternut squashes there right from the ground. You can also purchase fresh butternut squash from the grocery store. The trick is to pick firm squashes that don’t have any mold or dark patches on them.