Comfort Redefined: Butternut Squash

Jody Grimm

Jody Grimm › Jody is a health counselor and the founder of Jo Jo's Raw Kitchen, a raw chocolate ...

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“But I grew up eating that. It’s comfort food.”

One of the many reasons we give for why we can’t give up unhealthy foods – because we grew up with Twinkies, mac and cheese, and giant plates of pasta. I personally grew up with Ho Hos, bologna sandwiches and Boston Market. And I feel, just as strongly as you might, special attachment to those memories, those meals and the people I shared them with.

However, those attachments are no longer enough for me – are they for you? It’s time we raise the bar. It’s time we take the white bread (and the wheat bread for that matter) and throw it to the curb. Ingredients packaged in plastic or recipes loaded with sugar no longer make the cut. It’s time we create new traditions with whole ingredients; those that taste good and make our minds and bodies feel good too.

Now that’s what I call comfort food!

As we become more connected to the food we eat, and more proud of its richness, we discover the ability to swap unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones, while still maintaining the sweet tastes we remember. Just ask anyone who has followed my recipe for Raw Strawberry Shortcake.

To get started, here are a few recipes, completely raw yet still completely comforting, made with butternut squash, the most traditional of autumn foods.

Butternut Squash Apple Slaw 

Peel and grate 1 small butternut squash into a bowl. Add two diced apples, 1 small handful cilantro, handful of chopped walnuts, handful of raisins, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, and a dash of sea salt.

Warm Butternut Squash Soup

Blend 1 cup chopped butternut squash, 1 1/2 cup coconut water, 1/2 cup cashews, 1 stalk celery, 1/4 red onion, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 lemon. Blend long enough in certain blenders and your soup will become warm – otherwise, you can substitute warm water for some of the coconut water.

Butternut Squash Pudding

Blend until smooth: 1/3 cup water, 1/2 cup chopped butternut squash, 1 cup cashews, 1 tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 1-inch piece of ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and sea salt to taste.

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Have you adapted your favorite childhood dishes to be made with real or raw ingredients? What was successful… and what wasn’t?

Photo Credit: Jody Grimm