ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH A CASHEW MINT CREAM
Today I am partnering with one of my favourite brands, IRIS, to share a recipe that isn’t only heavenly for the holiday season but so amazing for the health of our eyes. Remember how your mom always used to tell you to eat your carrots because they were good for your eyes? Well mom was right–it’s true! According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (2017), foods containing vitamin c, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene can help in keeping the eyes sharp. ( “Canadian Association of Optometrists“, 2017) As science is advancing we are beginning to fully understand how the foods we put into our body can help protect against the degeneration of cells preventing illness and disease. What we eat can also contribute to the progression of disease as well. The same site states, “Diets excessively high in sugar and refined carbohydrates are a risk factor for cataracts.” (Canadian Association of Optometrists, 2017).
Partnering with IRIS has helped me become more aware of the importance of taking care of my eyes whether that means going to the eye doctor every year, including foods in my diet that are potentially contributing to the health of my eyes and making sure I’m doing the same for my baby and family. It has been so important for us to have such a close relationship with our eye health care professionals at IRIS, especially since I’ve struggled with my vision almost all of my life. I appreciate how IRIS focuses on the overall health of our eyes and educates prevention of disease in addition to treating issues that may have already occurred. Prevention is so important!
I decided to make this roasted butternut squash with a creamy cashew mint sauce because of all the benefits it offers to the health of our eyes. This recipe is so amazing on it’s on with your holiday dishes or chopped up into cubes to add to a salad or wrap. When choosing the right food for your eyes always think: Orange veggies and fruits, fruits and veggies containing vitamin c (strawberries, pomegranates, kiwis), leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes rich in zinc, flax seeds for their omega 3’s (Canadian Association of Optometrists, 2017). This recipe is hitting more than one of those nutritional requirements and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you for the holiday season. I hope you love it and I’m so grateful for you stopping by. Make sure to post pics to your Instagram and stories so I can repost them–it’s my favourite seeing you recreate some of our families favourites. Big hugs, E. Thank you so much to IRIS for partnering with me on this post.
- 1-2 butternut squash
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 cup of raw cashews (soaked for at least one hour but overnight would do even better)
- 1 cup of water (make sure it's equal parts to the cashews)
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- Juice from one lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut your butternut squash in half removing the seeds. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
- Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 60-75 minutes (or until centre is soft).
- In a blender add the rinsed, soaked cashews with equal parts water. Add garlic, lemon, fresh mint, salt and pepper and blend until creamy.
- Once squash is ready, remove from the oven and drizzle on cashew cream sauce. Top with pomegranates.
- Serve on it's on as a side or chop into pieces and add to salads or wraps.