Baked Butternut Squash Fries


In the Squash workshop, Karen also shared with us a Baked Butternut Squash Fries from Hungrygirl.com. She used turban squash for this recipe. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar adds some tang to the fries.

squashfries-11

Karen told us that she had tried about seven methods to bake fries but none of it can achieve the deep fried fries texture. Although we cannot get the deep fried fries texture, but we can compromise with some good tasting and healthy fries.

squashfries-23

Any fries will need salt for taste. Karen introduced to us this flaky sea salt crystals to us. This box of 240g salt costs $8.99. Use it sparingly for sprinkling on food like fries. It’s not meant for day to day cooking.

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You should crushed the salt before use. The flake is relatively big. Sea salt tastes better in a sense that they do not have chemical taste like table salt which is normally iodized salt. No matter what kind of salt, it should be used in moderation. Excess salt consumption is connected to hypertension, osteoporosis, kidney damage, higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Check out this link for food that are high in salt.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grape seed or olive oil
  • dried oregano and rosemary for flavour (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

squashfries-17-300x200Slice off the bottom of the squash so that you can stand the squash up firmly on the counter top. Cut into half longitudinally. Remove the seeds and flash. Slice into 1 cm slice. Peel the skin.
squashfries-22-300x200Cut the slices into french fry shape.
squashfries-15-300x200In a big bowl, combine the grape seed oil (which has a more neutral flavour) with some ground black pepper, rosemary and dried oregano.

Toss the squash until all are coated evenly.

squashfries-14-300x200Place the squash on n a parchment lined baking sheet with plenty of room in between the fries so that they are not steamed during the baking process.Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 15 minutes.

Flip the fries over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until they start to brown.Remove from pan and sprinkle with salt sparingly. This is a sweet tasting fries.

Karen also roasted the seeds from the squashes for us to try. To clean the flesh off the seeds, rub them in a big bowl of water and the seeds will float to the top. Pat dry the seeds before roasting. Roast the seeds in a 325F preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the seeds.

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I found that the roasted seeds from the turban squash and Blue Magic squash is quite difficult to eat. The Blue Magic seeds have a tougher shell and the seeds actually stick to the shell and quite hard to get them out. The turban squash seeds has a more softer shell but it’s still hard to consume the shell together with the seeds. I still prefer the store bought seeds which are more easy to eat.

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Seeds is a good source of protein and they also contain some oil in them. So, when it comes to roasting, use a sprayer to oil the seeds sparingly.

Karen, thank you very much for the workshop and all the kitchen tips. Arzeena, thank you for organizing the workshop. I would also want to congratulate the GreenHouse Social Club which had been awarded the Volunteer Richmond’s Constellation Award for excellence in volunteerism. The Greenhouse Social club was recognized for its impact on food security in Richmond by growing and harvesting over 2000 lbs of food, supplying Gilmore Park United Church with salad greens for its community meals, and growing over 500 seedlings to give out at the Richmond Food Bank and 3 local high schools.

7 thoughts on “Baked Butternut Squash Fries

  1. Hi Ben and Suanne,

    You have to be careful when you warn people against eating too much “processed chemical” salt. The reason why normal table salt is iodized is because people lack a reasonable way of getting iodine otherwise. Lack of iodine leads to lack of T3/T4 which are thyroid hormones important for body metabolism and well-being.

    Look up the effects of iodine deficiency (goiter) and you will see the need for iodine in our diet.

  2. Oh yeah, FamilyFirst … I’ve put in a hack to address the issue which seems to solve the problem 99% of the time. There is one odd comment which was recorded as coming from a wrong location but 99% is good enough for me. Life is too precious to sweat over that 1%.
    “FoodFirst” Ben

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