Butternut Squash Origins
The butternut squash is a fairly new squash. While varieties of squash have reportedly been found in ancient Egyptian tombs the butternut squash dates back to the 1940’s. The story goes that Charles Leggett’s father wasn’t well and his father’s doctor want him to get outside more, so Charles Leggett bought a farm for his father. Charles Leggett had no farming or science background so, originally, he rented the land but didn’t earn too much money so he tried farming himself. He started out farming corn but the market was saturated with corn from other farms in the region so he gave that up and settled on squash.
According to Mr. Leggett’s widow, Dorothy, Charles started cross breading gooseneck squash with other varieties. One variety he tried was the hubbard squash. The gooseneck squash were long and difficult to transport. The hubbard squash was large with a thick skin and difficult to cut. These two varieties are what led to the butternut squash.
After trials on ¼ acre plots of land he had collected enough seeds to plant about 35 acres of fields. He encountered some difficulties during WWII with gas rations but was able to convince the rations board officer to let him have more gas than what was rationed to his farm due to an old tractor and fields full of rock; he would drive the tractor slow so as not to destroy it over the rocks. This led to him using more gas. When he explained this to the rations officer the rations board let him have the extra gas. Good thing too because then we wouldn’t have butternut squash.
Dorothy said Charles came up with the name Butternut Squash because it was “smooth as butter and sweet as a nut.” Charles would give butternut squash away as gifts for people and Boston restaurants to try, he only asked he be given the seeds back.
This is how the butternut squash came to be according to Dorothy Leggett, the widow of Charles Leggett.
How to purchase
When you go to purchase butternut squash you want a long squash with a thick neck. This will leave you with the most “meat”. Ensure there are no deep nicks, this could cause bacteria to invade the squash thus shortening the shelf life. Dirt on it is fine, just wash the squash before using.
The nutrients of the butternut squash are great. It is loaded with vitamin A, which gives it that deep orange color. They are also great sources of vitamin B, C, magnesium, calcium, and iron. For more information on the nutrients please visit these links:
As with any fruit or vegetable butternut squash is filled with fiber which leaves you fuller longer, therefore less likely to continuously snack. By the way, butternut squash is technically a fruit.
Butternut Squash Porridge
I love butternut squash. It has a great taste and is fairly easy to cook. There are tons of recipes out there telling you to peel and cube the squash before cooking. While there are times for following that method, for this recipe you are going to give the squash a steam bath. This makes getting the “meat” out A LOT easier.
This porridge is vegan and autoimmune paleo protocol friendly. You can choose your toppings, if any. I prefer blueberries, bananas, and shredded coconut, but it’s really up to you and what you like.
- 3 lb butternut squash
- Filtered tap water
- Full fat coconut milk (I use this brand Natural Value Coconut Milk)
- Ginger powder
- Mace powder
- Cinnamon powder
- Sea Salt
- Raw Honey
Baking the butternut squash
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Wash the squash with water to remove any dirt.
- Place whole squash in a glass baking dish & pour 2 cups of water in the dish.
- Place the baking dish in the oven & bake for 1 1/2 hours, turning over after 45 minutes. When done insert knife to test for doneness in the neck of the squash, if the knife can go through then it’s done. Remove the dish from the oven and put it on a cooling rack to cool for 30 min.
Making the porridge
- When the squash is cool enough to handle cut it open lengthwise & scoop out the flesh (discarding the seeds and skin) of the squash into a large pot.
- Add the coconut milk, ginger, mace, cinnamon, salt & honey in the pot turning the burner on to medium low heat & stir.
- When the fat in the coconut milk is melted cover & simmer for 10 min.
- Uncover, stir, reduced heat to low, & let it simmer uncovered for 10 min.
- Serve right away or let cool to room temp, put in a container, & warm up.
- Sliced tiger nuts
- Shredded coconut
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please feel free to ask any questions and share your thoughts in the comments below.