This week marks the final pick-up for my CSA share and I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I love supporting local, organic farms, lowering the environmental impact of my food choices, enjoying produce that’s in-season, and the surprise of what’s to come in my next share. Well, except that last one wasn’t as accurate as I’d hoped it would be.
We ordered a large farm share this year, intended for a family of four, rationalized by the fact that Aaron and I subsist almost entirely on fresh produce (and nuts and seeds, etc, but you get the point). Daily smoothies, juices, and salads make quite a dent. The issue we ran into, however, was that there was almost no fruit—maybe a handful of apples recently—and like five heads of lettuce and ten pounds of potatoes…every. single. week. Over the summer, it was five heads of lettuce and a million eggplants and peppers. And I was not eating nightshades on my elimination diet, which meant Aaron was eating eggplants and peppers for a family of four who really, really loves eggplant and peppers (Aaron does not love eggplant or peppers). Suffice it to say, we got burnt out.
We’re now in the midst of butternut squash overload. I’ve already given a couple away, roasted two, there’s another sitting on my counter (next to ten pounds of potatoes, soon to be twenty), and I’m expecting at least one more in today’s CSA share. So…what does one do after getting sick of roasted butternut squash in soups, savory sauces, and quinoa bowls?
Butternut squash smoothies.
This recipe started as a way for me to consume as much squash as possible in a somewhat appetizing way (setting the bar really high there because I am that sick of squash). I haphazardly threw a bunch into my blender along with some homemade cashew milk, flax seeds, protein powder, and fall-ish spices, and then went looking for something to sweeten it up a bit more. Enter: apple, in juice and whole fruit forms.
I tasted it, not expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised with the end result. One thing that butternut squash has going for it is that when blended, it takes on this light, luscious, silky texture. I find it to be slightly smoother than the spotlight-stealing pumpkin, which almost makes peeling it and potentially losing a finger or two worthwhile.*
I’ve since made this spiced butternut squash and apple smoothie several times, and thankfully, I’m not sick of it. Which is good, because I have enough leftover to make oh, eight or nine more. Help?
*I’ve given up on attempting to peel most things, including the treacherous butternut squash. I recently discovered you can cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast the two halves, face down in a little water (like spaghetti squash), rather than going through the hassle of peeling and chopping it. So much easier! Am I late to the game on this? Has everyone been breezing through their butternut squash prep all this time?
Spiced Apple Butternut Squash Smoothie
Prep Time: 5 mins
What does one do after getting sick of roasted butternut squash in soups, savory sauces, and quinoa bowls? Butternut squash smoothies.
To make homemade cashew milk, soak 1 cup of raw cashews in water in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight (the longer you soak them, the easier they will blend). Once soaked, drain and rinse them well and add them to the blender with 4 cups of filtered water. Blend on high for 1 minute or until the cashews are very finely ground. Strain through a nut milk bag if you like, although I usually skip this step when I use cashews. Cashew milk can be stored in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
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