Time Saver for the Holidays Butternut Squash

Time Saver for the Holidays Butternut Squash

My passion to feed others delicious, local, organic and easily digestible food has always been present in my life, from my time as sous chef at Yasodhara Ashram in British Columbia to my cooking time in my own kitchen at home. These days, quality family time is of the essence and there’s no time to waste, especially during the holidays.

Each year I buy $250 worth of local squash and I place them around my house, which allows me to keep an eye on them. If I see one going off or bad, I grab it and add it to my weekly menu. Squash has been in my fall and winter kitchen for over 10 years, and for good reason- they are everywhere! I seek mine out at grocery stores, local farmers markets, and sometimes I even take a drive and visit my local organic farmer.  Check in with yours- they just might have some extras for yah!

Take note that whole, fresh butternut squash should keep in the pantry for 1 to 3 months. Refrigerating the squash extends its shelf life to 10 to 12 months.

My Favorite Squash- The Butternut

Butternut squash is my quick go-to for the holiday season.  Mashed, stewed, in muffins- even my Christmas log is made from this wondrous vegetable. I have come to explore new creative ways to serve this vegetable from all angles, especially for the holiday season. I have to admit I love impressing a crowd with some good wholesome food, and this vegetable makes it easy.

All of the following holiday dishes take only 20 min. of prep time. Who doesn’t want that during the holidays?

First Step for Every Recipe

All of my recipes begin with this same first step!

Bake the entire squash in the oven at 350⁰ F for 40-60 minutes on a cookie sheet or steam it for 30 minutes, depending on the size. Let it cool, and then remove the skin.

My Butternut Squash Recipe Collection

Here’s a quickie if you are running late.

Mashed Butternut Squash-2min. prep time

One baked butternut squash with the skin removed
2t ghee
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a bowl mash with a potato masher and serve. DONE!

Butternut Squash Stew –20minutes prep time

4C of veggie stock
½ inch of fresh grated ginger
1/2t pepper, salt and turmeric
3T of ghee or butter
1 big butternut squash peeled and cut into 1’’ cubes

1C of cooked chickpeas
½ sultana raisins or dried cranberries

In a large saucepan bring stock, onion, ginger, dried spices, ghee and butternut squash to a boil.  Let simmer for 30-40 min. or until desired consistency of the stew. Add chickpeas and raisins for 10 min. Et voilà!


Butternut squash muffins-prep time 10 min.
From Thirteen moon-Louise Racine
Yield: 12 muffins

¾ C  oat bran
¾ C buckwheat  flour
½ C coconut sugar
1 ½ t cinnamon
1t of baking soda and baking powder
½ t of sea salt
¾ C dried cranberries
1C butternut squash puree
1 egg or substitute with the following (1T ground flax and 3 T water.  Mix together and set aside for 2min.-replaces one egg)
½ C unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 C melted coconut oil
½ plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly oil muffin tins.

In a bowl, combine bran flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cranberries.  Add remaining ingredients and fold in until just combined. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 25min. or until firm to touch. Please note that you can easily double-triple this recipe for a big morning brunch.  I do it every year.

Christmas Log-prep time 15min.
Thao Nguyen-Bonbon Collective

4C butternut squash puree
¾ C nut butter of your choice-I use hazelnut or almond
½ C coconut oil
300g dark chocolate-sweetened or unsweetened -your choice here
½ C maple syrup

Place a sheet of parchment paper in an 8’’X 4’’ bread pan leaving 2’’ of paper coming out from the sides.

In a ‘bain-marie’ melt nut butter, chocolate and coconut oil together.  Mix well.

In a food processor, use the S blade, add the squash and melted chocolate mixture.  Slowly add the maple syrup. Mix on high for 2min or until the mixture is smooth.

Pour in the prepared bread pan and put in fridge overnight-FYI: good for 4 days in the fridge.

Prepare a piece of cardboard covered in aluminum paper as a serving plate.

The next day flip the bread pan onto the serving plate, remove pan then slowly and methodically remove the parchment paper. Powder with powdered cacao or decorate as you please.  I snip a few spruce branches to decorate it. Be creative!

Time is precious and should be savoured, especially in the kitchen-hee hee! When we are fully present in what we create and do,  we bring the undivided attention of love and care into out offerings. If you are feeling a bit scattered or off center during the holiday season, let these recipes come to your rescue to help you be fully present in the now. Knowing that they’re not time-consuming might help you relax and appreciate your time preparing food for those that are close to your heart.

And remember:
‘You cannot be there until you are more here now’

I heard this mantra in Yoga class and it always helps me come back to my center, and to offer my time as a gift as I practice being more here now.

Happy Holidays


About the Yoga Health Coaching Blogger

Lynne-AKA Mama Lynne-and her husband live in Québec, Canada and is a mother of two young boys. She offers educational yoga and ayurvedic workshops for yoga instructors or for YTT who wish to deepen and continue their evolution as teachers and students. As a Certified Yoga Health Coach she devotes her working hours to coaching mothers online and in person an 11wk course and a 7mth Yoga Immersion that cycle right into a revitalized and rejuvenating lifestyle to give back to mother sense a control and calm with the family life.

Reach out and connect with Heather through her Website or Facebook.

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