This spiced butternut squash is nutrient rich and really delicious and while I enjoy a green smoothie on a consistent basis, it’s nice to switch it up once and a while. With fall here and an abundance of squash at the market it seemed only appropriate to make a butternut squash smoothie.
What ingredients are used in this recipe?
Butternut Squash-Because of its rich antioxidant content, this vegetable offers you numerous health benefits, including helping to reduce inflammation. One cup of butternut squash has less than 100 calories and almost zero fat. The fiber is also filling, which can help you feel full longer, which in turn can mean eating less.
Rich in vitamin A, one cup of this vegetable has more than 350 percent of the recommended daily allowance, which is beneficial for eye health. Consuming butternut squash may also help to lower your blood pressure. One cup contains nearly 500 mg. of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure by balancing the amount of sodium in your diet.
Cucumber-This vegetable belongs in the same family as pumpkin, squash and watermelon. It is also made up of 95% water, making it an excellent option for hydrating your body. Cucumbers also contain polyphenols that can help lower your risk of breast, ovarian, prostate and uterine cancers. The soluble fiber in cucumbers also helps to slow down digestion, which can help you feel full longer.
Cucumber also contain anti-oxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin c, as well as antioxidant flavonoids such as luteolin and quercetin. Quercetin offers numerous benefits such as fighting inflammation, stabilizing blood pressure, blocking mast cell release and reducing histamine.
Zucchini-Is a wonderful low glycemic food that is also low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. They also have potassium which is great for heart health. They are also rich in folate and magnesium which can help your body break down amino acids like homocysteine, which can help to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
Zucchini’s anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for overall health. It’s also a good source of vitamin C and copper. It’s also a wonderful source of phyto nutrients such as beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A, which is essential for eye health.
Coconut Milk-Coconut is an excellent source of lauric acid which has antibacterial and antiviral benefits. Lauric acid is also linked to improved cholesterol levels and heart health. Coconut milk also contains MCT (medium chain triglycerides) that your brain uses for energy. It’s also very filling, which can help prevent over eating or snacking in between meals.
Because coconut milk is rich with electrolytes and healthy fats it is great for gut health and may even help to prevent conditions such as IBS. The MCT’s in coconut milk can also help to lower inflammation. Rather than using canned coconut milk, try making your own with this simple recipe.
Granny Smith Apple-While apples in general are considered healthy, granny smith apples offer some additional benefits. They have a high malic acid content which is helpful for liver cleansing, as well as having low sugar and high fiber content. According to a Washington State University study Granny Smith apples may also be beneficial for those trying to lose weight.
In addition, researchers also found that compared with all other apple varieties, Granny Smith apples appear to have the most beneficial effect on good gut bacteria.
Cinnamon-This is more than just a pantry staple. The bark from the Cinnamomum verum (or Cinnamomum zeylanicum) tree, contains numerous health promoting properties. It is high in antioxidants which can help to reduce free radical damage, reduce inflammation, protect heart health, it can even help to fight infections and viruses.
So with all of these nutrient rich, healthy ingredients lets get blending!
Spiced Butternut Squash Smoothie
While many recipes used cooked butternut squash, I chose to leave mine raw. If you prefer yours cooked, just peel, chop and cube your squash and boil till tender. This should take 15-20 minutes.
1-1/4 C. Butternut Squash, cubed
¾ C. Cucumber, peeled and cubed
¼ C. Zucchini, cubed
1-1/2 C. Coconut milk
½ C. Granny Smith apple, cubed
Dash of cinnamon
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend till smooth and creamy.