Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rich & Creamy Butternut Squash Smoothie

Nothing screams fall like heaping baskets of various winter squash. And though I don’t usually discriminate when it comes to squash, butternut…well, lets just say it holds a very special place in my heart. The smooth creamy color on the outside gives way to the rich buttery flesh on the inside. You can count on almost anything with the word butternut in it to be delicious, including this beautiful velvety butternut squash smoothie.

When buying squash, look for those with a nice firm healthy stem, with even shiny skin free from dents, dings, blemishes and soft spots. Store your squash in a cool dry place (around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit) and it will keep for weeks, possibly even months.

The hardest part of roasting squash is cutting it open. First, rinse (with water only) the outside of the squash and dry it off. Next trim both ends, slice the squash in half length-wise (keep your fingers out of the way!) and use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds. Drizzle a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil on the flesh and use your fingers to coat it evenly. Place the squash flesh side down on a rimmed baking sheet and you’re ready to roast!

Suggestion, buy more than one butternut squash because you’ll want to enjoy this again ASAP after slurping it down the first time around. Can you say addicting?

1 small to medium butternut squash
1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk
3-4 dates, pits removed
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon (your choice!)
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ginger
¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
1 large handful of ice

* If you want to add some superfoods, try either 1 tablespoon of lucuma or chia seeds. This is completely optional J and doesn’t change the flavor of the smoothie at all.

Following the squash prep advice above, roast the squash at 350°F for approximately 40-45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and let cool.

Scoop out all the squash flesh and toss it into a high-speed blender. Add all remaining ingredients and blend on high until velvety smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses or jars and enjoy immediately! Enjoy this dreamy deliciousness with a cinnamon stick for an extra special touch.

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