Virginia Farm Flavors: Burgess Buttercup Squash

Have you met the Burgess Buttercup squash yet? If you haven’t, you should. With a beautiful blend of flavors reminiscent of a blend between pumpkin and sweet potatoes, the Burgess Buttercup was carefully bred for its long storage, delicious chestnutty flavor, and perfect size (about 3.5 pounds; the perfect size to feed your family). Buttercup squashes have been eaten in the Americas for thousands of years with the Burgess variety developed in North Dakota specifically as a sweet potato substitute. It’s fiberless, and thin-skinned, which makes it the perfect squash to cook up on these soon-to-be fall days. They’re also one of the sweetest winter squash varieties out there. Their seeds even make the perfect snacks when roasted! It’s not recommended to peel this squash, but rather to roast with the skin on and either scoop out or eat whole for added nutrients.

Like many orange foods, especially fall/winter items, buttercup squashes are rich in carotenoids, which provide a lot of vitamin C, A, B6 as well as folate, potassium, and calcium. Additionally, carotenoids are extremely antioxidant-rich and provide a powerful winter immune defense. This squash is also particularly high in pectin, a naturally occurring fiber that helps keep the glycemic index value of this food low. This means that the release of sugar into the digestive tract following a meal filled with buttercup squash is better regulated and is also linked to greater feelings of satiety. A win-win! As a winter squash, buttercup has also been found to be extremely high in Omega-3s. In fact, you also get about 10% of our daily recommended intake of omega-3s from just one cup of buttercup squash. Good thing it can be prepared in so many delicious ways!

Buttercup squash is delicious roasted as a side dish with fresh thyme and parmesan sprinkled on top, or as an entree stuffed with mushrooms, quinoa, and kale, or even as a dessert (seriously, do a quick google of buttercup squash dessert. I can’t wait to try so many of these ideas out this fall!)

Here’s a quick buttercup squash dessert recipe from Rachel Ray that calls for a lot of ingredients that you can find here at Woodside! See it here – Buttercup Squash Custard