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Butternut squash casserole is a hot dish made with butternut squash and other ingredients, such as cheddar cheese, eggs, fresh spinach, bread crumbs, and onions. A sweet version of the casserole can be made with components such as milk, sugar, margarine, vanilla extract, and crushed wafers, as well. This type of casserole normally has a creamy, mild flavor that goes well with many different types of vegetables and side dishes. It also pairs well with beef, ham, and poultry.
The flavor of butternut squash goes well with casserole dishes because it is mild and somewhat sweet, and can be mixed with an assortment of ingredients without overpowering the dish. This type of winter squash is also very versatile, as it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Butternut squash casserole is commonly eaten in the fall and winter months; however, it can be eaten all throughout the year if desired.
Savory versions of butternut squash casserole typically include ingredients such as cracker or bread crumbs, cheese, various spices, cream, and oil. Other ingredients such as spinach, bacon, sausage, toasted pecans, eggs, onions, pumpkin seeds, and butter can also be added to the dish. Spices and herbs that are commonly used in the casserole include thyme, black pepper, nutmeg, parsley, and cinnamon. For extra flavor, fresh garlic or hot peppers can be also be added to the dish.
The mild, sweet flavor of butternut squash also works well in sweet dishes. Ingredients such as flour, brown sugar, eggs, butter or margarine, vanilla, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon can be used to create a sweet butternut squash casserole. Toasted walnuts, pecans, maple syrup, and sliced apples can also be used in a sweet casserole. In addition, sweet ingredients such as apple and maple syrup can be used with savory ingredients such as cheddar cheese and bacon for an interesting variation. It is common to combine sweet with savory flavors in a butternut squash casserole because the squash itself is sweet and delicate in flavor.
Butternut squash is full of vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, and iron. It also contains substantial amounts of zinc, potassium, calcium, and copper. Those who regularly consume butternut squash may have a reduced risk for heart disease, as the monounsaturated fatty acids in the squash are beneficial to heart health. The winter squash also contains large amounts of dietary fiber, protein, antioxidants, and tryptophan. In addition, the squash is relatively low in calories and fat and can help control weight and cholesterol levels.
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