There’s something about turmeric and cinnamon together that warms my body. This Cozy Autumn Butternut Squash is just that– COZY.
Now, if you’re thinking “I’ve don’t know if I’ve ever used turmeric, I can just do this with cinnamon”, you’re definitely correct. You would also be missing out on the incredible benefits turmeric has on your body.
In the Paleo, Whole30, and Ketogenic space, we chat a lot about inflammation. Inflammation is simple yet it took me quite a while to actually understand what it meant.
Simply put, inflammation is a response from our body to defend. To get science-y, the actual act of inflammation is the increase in white blood cells and immune cells [along with some other cells]. So, what’s so bad about that if that means our bodies are sending the troops to fight infections?
We chat so much about inflammation in the whole-food space because 70% of our immunity is in our gut [aka, digestion] and what goes into our gut? Food. This means 30% of our immunity is spread out throughout our bodies.
This means that when we consume foods that take a little more effort to digest [and get nutrients from], our body is having to rev up the response from that 70% immunity. Therefore, all the other stuff in your body gets put on the back burner, such as that hip/back pain, the growth and health of your hair/nails [insert the loss of hair and breaking/peeling of nails], and even your skin irritations. Everything we put into our bodies make its way to our gut and that food either gets the “wave” or get’s stopped for review of passports.
This is what leads so many folks to the Whole30. The Whole30 isn’t about the weight loss, however.. that’s totally notated and enjoyed. It’s 30 days of whole, nutrient dense foods to help the gut work towards a base line. At that horizon [day 31], you then feel the effects of a well oiled machine in motion [i.e. your body]. At that base line, you can go anywhere to include the experiment of adding foods back in and understanding how they effect you. It’s not a reset to prove that everyone and their Mom is allergic to gluten and dairy. It’s a process of resetting our body back to the factory mode to allow you the benefit of moving forward with optimizing your health through food’s nutrition.
Now that we understand inflammation a little bit more, we can now focus on all the things that help reduce the constant defense. After all, sometimes the first string players need a break!
One of the worlds best anti-inflammatory gifts is turmeric. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory spice that helps reduce the troops and aids in repairing damaged cells. Turmeric is also a powerhouse in antioxidants and is proven to stimulate the brain resulting in overall mental health and clarity. Due to its strong anti-inflammation abilities, arthritis patients have had great success in adding it to their diets. The list of benefits is ever growing and even includes the defense against heart disease and depression.
Turmeric is warm in flavor [think curry and soups, not pepper] and is the perfect addition to the fall and winter seasons when our immune systems are often at their lowest.
I’m a cheater these days so I opt for the precut packaged squash located in the refrigerated section of my grocer’s produce department. Now, you do pay for this convenience but for me, it’s one of my top 5 “worth it” convenience buys. Reason being is that peeling and cutting a Butternut Squash is time I just don’t have. However, if you have the patience, time, and want to save the money [and get more], check out this video from my favorite blogger, Dani: Butternut Squash 101 [but make sure to come back after you fall involve with her!]
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2: Pile your peeled and cut squash onto the baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over it. Sprinkle the turmeric, cinnamon, and sea salt onto the squash. With your hands or a large spoon, toss everything together and then evenly spread the squash out on the baking sheet.
Step 3: Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, remove, let cool for a minute or two, and serve!
If you like this side, check out these other cozy recipes:
- Butter Green Beans & Pine Nuts
- Sweet Potato Hash
- Basic Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Lemon Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
- One Skillet Brussels and Bacon
Cozy Autumn Butternut Squash
A fall inspired dish featuring roasted butternut squash, warm ground turmeric, and a hint of cinnamon.
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, cut and cubed
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2-3 dashes ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 400'F.
On a parchment lined baking sheet, place the butter squash. Drizzel olive oil over the squash and season with the turmeric, cinnamon, and sea salt. Lightly toss the squash around the pan with a spoon or your hands.
Spread squash out on the baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
To save time: Purchase precut and cubed butternut squash in your grocer’s refrigerated produce section. Otherwise, use one large butternut squash.
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(1) Paleo 101, Part 2 [Radio series episode]. (2012, January 3). Balanced Bites Podcast (Producer)
(2) Kris Gunnars, BSc. (2018, July 13). 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#section5