[Recipe] Warm Maple-Cinnamon Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad

Warm Maple Cinnamon Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad

(Healthcastle.com) Read on for a recipe that proves salads can be comfort food. With the peppery arugula and tender butternut squash packing a much needed nutrition punch to fend off cold and flu season you can gobble this one up, guilt free. 

This recipe is a indulgent enough to serve at any dinner party, but with the added bonus of being quick enough to throw together in 20 minutes on a weeknight. Add some leftover grilled chicken breast and you’ve got a no fuss nutrient packed meal.

Ingredients:

  • 400 g package of frozen cubed butternut squash or small fresh butternut squash (~1-1.5lbs)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp set aside to drizzle on the salad
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Place cubed butternut squash on a foil lined baking sheet. Mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper in small bowl. Drizzle over butternut squash and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Cook butternut squash for 20-30 minutes until you see the edges browning, turning once halfway (the larger the cube, the longer they take).
  4. Pile arugula on a large platter or bowl. Top with warm butternut squash, dried cranberries, and a drizzle of olive oil. Add fresh ground pepper and a small pinch of coarse salt like sea salt or kosher salt if desired. Serve right away.

The Nutrition Perks:

Butternut squash is rich in carotenoids, potent anti-oxidants that our body can also convert in to Vitamin A. Arugula is a winter superfood, as part of the cancer fighting cruciferous vegetable family it is packed with glucosinolates which seem to lower inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with the development of certain cancers, associated with weight gain and obesity and other chronic diseases.

Both are great ways to get much needed Folate, Vitamin C, and gut-healthy fibre.
Research shows that getting these nutrients from food, instead of pills, is the best bang for your buck in terms of prevention. So load your plate up with this drool worthy salad and dig in!

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