It’s my favorite food eating week of the year! And today I have two new recipes for you!
I’m still testing recipes to see which I’ll be taking to the annual Friendsgiving we’ve gone to each year since living in Colorado. You can expect—hopefully—a new stuffing recipe tomorrow and a menu lineup if I were to cook the entire meal myself. Although, just typing that sounds intense. I’m so glad our Thanksgiving is a collaborative effort with mountains of food to feast on.
But, maybe you like to keep your Thanksgiving super simple. I completely understand. Maybe you just want a comforting bowl of soup and grilled cheese, a blanket, your couch, and a movie. And a glass of wine!
That actually sounds pretty spectacular.
Or, maybe you’re looking for a filling and nutritious breakfast but nothing over the top. Maybe you’re running in a race Thanksgiving morning, hiking with the family, or playing a little football.
Or, you’re sick of Thanksgiving-themed food since you’ve done too much testing, cooking, and eating for the entire month leading up to the day.
If any of those scenarios describe you I have the perfect solution.
It all starts with Earthbound Farm’s frozen organic butternut squash. When I first discovered these golden cubes of squashy goodness I was thrilled. It’s kind of like using pumpkin puree from a can vs. making your own. Sure, sometimes going through the process is rewarding, but there is a whole lot of extra work involved for an almost identical result. When I know I’m short on time and want to use butternut squash for soup or a smoothie this is my answer.
Until recently I never thought to use frozen butternut squash in a smoothie but it’s now my favorite new ingredient. In just one cup you’ll get loads of vitamin A and C, folate, potassium, and about 3g of fiber. It also chills the smoothie perfectly and creates an extra thick and filling drink.
It also turns a lovely shade of orange, which is a nice change of pace from the spinach-packed green smoothie.
This smoothie has just a few main ingredients and spices for an added kick of flavor. The apple and banana help to naturally sweeten and coconut milk helps create an intensely creamy consistency.
Cinnamon and ginger were my spices of choice but you could also add things like nutmeg, chai spice, pumpkin spice, etc.
And now to the soup, which also utilized Earthbound Farm’s butternut squash. My goal was to create two easy and tasty recipes utilizing a very similar set of ingredients. Obviously the soup is savory and the smoothie is fruity and sweet, but I wanted to keep butternut squash and apples as the star ingredients for both recipes.
The soup is infused with fresh thyme, onion, and garlic and turns a vibrant golden yellow hue. I absolutely love the consistency of blended butternut squash soup and was completely sold on how the recipe turned out using frozen butternut squash. And such a time saver! Butternut squash is definitely a new freezer staple for me.
Now, to the recipes!
Butternut Squash Apple Smoothie
gluten-free, vegan // yields 2 medium or 1 extra-large smoothie
- 2 cups frozen butternut squash
- 2 medium sweet and crisp apples, cored and chopped – peeled for a smoother texture
- 1 medium banana
- 2/3-1 cup light canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter, or almond butter/cashew butter/sunflower butter
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2+ teaspoon ginger
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, scraping the sides if needed. Add more milk for a thinner consistency. Add more cinnamon/ginger if desired. Peel apples if you don’t have a high-powered blender for a smoother consistency.
notes: Frozen, bagged butternut squash has been slightly blanched before bagging and freezing. If you're using fresh butternut squash it is important to blanch the squash until cooked about 1/2 way, or more if desired. Then freeze.
Butternut Squash Apple Soup
gluten-free, vegan // yields ~6 cups pureed soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 20oz frozen butternut squash, about 4 1/2 cups
- 2 1/2 cups peeled and chopped apple, crisp and sweet preferred
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups low/no sodium vegetable broth
- 2-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt + pepper
- chopped marcona almonds
Place olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium. Once hot add the onion and a big pinch of salt and cook for 7-9 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Stir frequently. Add in the garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper, then stir for about a minute. Add in the squash, apple, and carrots and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add in 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, then puree the contents with an immersion blender or in small batches in your blender or food processor until fully smooth. Add more broth for a thinner consistency. Return soup to the pot and add 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and as much cayenne as you like for spice. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and maple syrup if desired.
Serve in bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of thyme and chopped marcona almonds [or roasted and salted almonds]. Store leftover soup in a sealed jar for about 1 week in the fridge.
notes: Frozen, bagged butternut squash has been slightly blanched before bagging and freezing. If you're using fresh butternut squash it is important to blanch the squash until cooked about 1/2 way, or more if desired. No need to freeze prior to using for this recipe. The amount of salt needed will vary depending on your taste and how much sodium is in the broth you’re using. You can also try using 1 teaspoon thyme along with 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped rosemary or sage for a slightly different flavor.
Whatever your plans are this week I hope you get some time to kick back, relax, and do a little non-stressful cooking.
disclaimer: Today’s post is part of an ongoing paid partnership with Earthbound Farm. All thoughts and opinions are always my own and featured ingredients are staples in my kitchen. Thank you for your support!