Monday , January 24 2022

HEARTh & HOME – Butternut Squash & Sweet Potatoes

By Janae Jean –

It’s November, and the holiday season is beginning. Thanksgiving leftovers don’t have to boring. This month we have two flavorful takes on family dinner staples, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The first, Curried Sweet Potatoes, adds Eastern flair to a Western favorite, thanks to blended curry spices. The second, Savory Butternut Squash soup, takes an often blend soup and gives it a kick with ginger and cayenne pepper.



Many people think that sweet potatoes and yams are the same root vegetable, but they are not. Yams are from Africa and are similar in texture to white russet potatoes. Sweet potatoes originate in the Americas. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, beta-carotene and iron. They are effective at controlling blood sugar and their potassium content helps to lower blood pressure. According to the National Institute of Health, they have been found to have anti-carcinogenic properties.


Curried Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour


3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ¼ inch slices

1 small green bell pepper, sliced

1 14 oz. can coconut milk

6 drops of lemon or lime juice

½ tsp. salt

A pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1-4 tbsp. curry spice blend, to taste


Curry Spice Blend

3 tbsp. turmeric

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350°F

Slice sweet potatoes into ¼ inch rounds. Set the rounds into two layers in an eight inch casserole pan. Place the green bell pepper slices on top of the sweet potatoes. In a bowl blend together the coconut milk with the lemon (or lime) juice, the salt, the pepper and the curry blend. If you like spicy food use all four tablespoons of the spice blend, but you can use one, two or three tablespoons of it depending on taste. Blend the coconut milk mixture well and pour on top of the vegetables, making sure to coat them evenly.


Bake the casserole until the sweet potatoes are tender, approximately one hour.



Butternut squash is a popular late fall and winter vegetable with a sweet flavor. It is a member of the gourd family, which includes pumpkin, melon, cucumber, as well as other squashes. It is native to North America and is thought to have been cultivated in Massachusetts, making it a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving meal. It contains high levels of potassium and anti-oxidants. Its high fiber content makes it beneficial for digestion, and the ginger in this recipe makes it even better for any after-Thanksgiving tummy-aches.


Savory Butternut Squash Soup

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes


1 butternut squash, seeded and cubed

1 cup chopped carrots

1 small white onion, sliced

1 14 oz. can coconut milk

2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 tbsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. ground ginger

Fresh basil (optional)


Stir together all ingredients (except basil) in a large soup pot. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Pour mixture into blender or food processor and purée. Serve hot with chopped fresh basil as garnish.


Janae Jean is the editor, social media manager and podcast co-host for Conscious Community Magazine. She enjoys improvising in the kitchen and creating recipes with her loved ones and is very grateful for their input and assistance.

Photo: Janae J. Almen



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