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Hungry Girl Today: 01.21.11

When it comes to food items, we like 'em delicious, low in calories, high in nutrients, and (not to sound shallow, but) beautiful. This piece of produce hits all of those points and more. Make fries with it, mash it, put it in a stew... JUST EAT IT. Today, butternut squash, we salute you!

What Is It?

Butternut Squash

PER SERVING (1 cup raw cubes): 63 calories, 0g fat, 6mg sodium, 16.5g carbs, 2.75g fiber, 3g sugars, 1.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

"Shaped like a large pear, this squash has cream-colored skin, deep orange-colored flesh and a sweet flavor."

That lovely explanation comes courtesy of The World's Healthiest Foods (a website we LOVE). Technically a fruit, the butternut is a winter squash with a nice long shelf life and a thick skin (so feel free to mock it). It's mostly solid with a bulbous end that contains seeds and strings to be scooped out.

Why Do We Love It?

Like Sweet Potatoes, but Better! This orange guy tastes a lot like a sweet potato, but it's lighter and lower in starchy carbs. Use it pretty much anywhere you would use a sugary spud.

Delicious AND Nutritious. Sure, it's full of fiber, but did you know that winter squash, like our friend the butternut, are also good sources of vitamins A and C, several B vitamins, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids? Yeah, squash rocks.

We've Mastered It, and You Can Too! Once you learn the easiest ways to skin and slice the things, working with them becomes a lot simpler. Click here to get in the know...


Salt - Before you go off on a sodium tirade, hear us out: We're talking about a TINY amount of coarse salt. It's the only other ingredient needed to make our beloved Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries, which are SO good. All you need is salt!

Hot Cousin! Kabocha Squash - Butternut squash is great, and we're loyal. But we were recently introduced to a relative -- a Japanese winter squash called the kabocha. And, um, we kinda love it. It may even be slightly better than butternut. BUT it's also harder to locate. If you do see it, pick one up and use it in a recipe that calls for butternut squash. We won't tell...

Crinkle Cutter - We have many recipes for butternut squash fries. (See below if you don't believe us.) And while your Frenchies will taste delicious no matter how you slice 'em, authentic-looking crinkle cuts make your fries 87 percent cuter and more fun to chew!

Butternutty Recipe Roundup

Picking which recipe to start with is the hardest part...

Ranch-tastic Butternut Fries with Bacon and Sweet-Garlic Butternut Fries - TWO variations on the classic baked butternut fries. YUM!

Cheesy Good Chili Fries - Like your guilt-free food to taste extra decadent? Here ya go...

Sweet Cinnamon Fritter Fries - To finish off the string of fries, we have a DESSERT-LIKE version. You're welcome.

Butternut-Potato Swirly Mashie Casserole - Twice as delicious and twice as beauteous as regular mashed potatoes.

Oh My Squash! Pot Stickers - We're willing to bet you've never had squash pot stickers before... and that you're gonna want to share them with EVERYONE after you do!

Very VERY Veggie Stew - When you need a bunch of veggies but a salad sounds too cold for comfort, make a pot of this!

Butternut Hash Browns! - Shred 'em and cook the shreds just like potatoes. SO GOOD!

HG's Cheesy Butternut Bake - Cheesy... mashy... onion-y... And look at those low stats!

For links please go to:
HG TV Show Tune-In Alert! A brand-new episode of Hungry Girl airs TOMORROW (Saturday, 1/22) at 4pm ET/1pm PT on Cooking Channel... "Surprises, Shockers & Swaps!" is CHOCK-FULL of swap-tastic recipes and more! Click now to watch the preview, and tune in TOMORROW (or set your DVR)!

Happy New England Clam Chowder Day, a.k.a. January 21st! Progresso has a new Light version in its lineup -- only 100 calories a cup!

If your buddies aren't well versed in the ways of the butternut, click "Send to a Friend," will ya?!


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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark. For more info on the new PointsPlus® program, visit

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