Looking for a healthier french fry alternative? Give these a try.
Mashed Winter Squash 3 Ways
Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost Paleo, Paleo, AIP-friendly, Vegan-friendly
Looking for a filling, nutrient-dense side dish that is versatile, easy, and delicious? Meet your new favorite cold-weather staple: Mashed Winter Squash.
The base stays the same: Roasted winter squash scooped from its skin, moistened with broth, seasoned, and mashed. It’s the three flavoring options that provide personality. From Italian-inspired fresh sage, garlic, and nutmeg, to aromatic Chinese 5-Spice, or licorice-scented tarragon kissed with coconut milk. It’s impossible to pick a favorite, and dead simple to get on the table.
What’s the best kind of squash to use?
I debated being more specific than “winter squash” with the title of this recipe because truly, this is amazing with Kabocha, Sunshine, Jarrahdale, Cinderella, or Buttercup Squash. All of those varieties are pumpkin-shaped, with deep-orange flesh, and lots of natural sweetness. Part of what makes these varieties work well is that they provide a good amount of squash flesh, and are easy to roast, scoop, and mash because of it.
That said, finding these varieties might be difficult, and I don’t want you to feel like it’s necessary to run around town hunting down a Kabocha when more common varieties like butternut or even sweet potato would make fine understudies.
Personally, I would avoid smaller (albeit still delicious) varieties like acorn, delicata, or carnival squash, mainly because you would have to roast several to get enough squash, and scooping the flesh can be a little bit awkward from deeply-ridged varieties like acorn. But if that’s what you have on hand, and you’re up for the extra prep time, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with how they would taste.
Best Choices: Kabocha, Sunshine, Buttercup, Jarrahdale (pictured below), Cinderella
Here’s some info about the thyroid-healthy ingredients in these recipes:
- 1 serving of winter squash contains between 150% and 450% DV for Vitamin A, which may help reduce the risk of developing hypothyroidism. Winter squash is also high in several other key thyroid supporting nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber.
- Though it is naturally sweet and filling, the glycemic load for winter squash is very low, with a score of 5 out of 250, making it a good choice for weight loss.
- Bone broth is one of the most highly recommended foods for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s. The collagen and glycine can help repair cell damage in the intestinal tract.
Mashed Winter Squash 3 Ways
- 1 large winter squash like kabocha, Buttercup, or butternut
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee, or extra olive oil for vegan
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 - 1 cup chicken bone broth, or veg. stock for vegan
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (omit pepper for AIP)
Base Recipe for the Squash
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Halve winter squash from stem to end and scoop out seeds. Rub each half with a bit of coconut oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place cut-side-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in oven. Roast 45-60 minutes or until the squash gives easily when poked.
Remove from oven, flip halves cut-side up and let cool slightly. Scoop the flesh from the skins and place in a medium saucepan. Add ghee, olive oil, broth, and salt and pepper, to taste. Mash with a potato masher.
Stir in ingredients from one of the three seasoning options in the notes below. Taste and adjust seasonings, and if necessary, add more broth to moisten. Keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
Use the amounts listed below as a loose guideline, depending on the size and moisture content of your squash, as well as your personal preferences.
Option 1: Savory Sage & Nutmeg (AIP-friendly)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (substitute mace for AIP)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Option 2: Chinese 5-Spice (not AIP-friendly)
2-3 pinches Chinese 5-Spice
1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch white pepper
2-3 teaspoons maple syrup (if needed, taste first)
Option 3: Coconut Tarragon (AIP-friendly)
1 teaspoon dried tarragon, or 1 tablespoon fresh
Replace half the broth with full-fat coconut milk
Replace olive oil with coconut oil