Baked Butternut Squash Fries with Cajun Spice Ketchup + How To Use The Seeds
Saturday, October 18, 2014
In my eyes, french fries are like crack. NOT that I've done crack, but I've done French Fries (with a capital F) and they're pretty damn addictive and very easy to 'fall off the wagon' and relapse for. Like when you're in a restaurant and you've already decided you're totally fine ordering a salad for lunch but then a faceless waiter figure glides past you with a gleaming plate of crispy freedom fries and all sense goes out the window. I don't need to be stating the obvious, french fries are a lot of people's Kryptonite and when people say they don't like them, I no longer trust them.
So crack is probably a little bit of an extreme comparison but let's take smoking, for example; these aren't going to be as crispy as fries, (butternut squash hold a lot of moisture) they're not going to be as easy as fries to make and if I'm being completely honest; they're not going to be as tasty as fries, (that's not to say these aren't extremely delicious) but like a cigarette, when you're trying to cut down, sometimes you just need something to hold between your fingers and in some people's case it's one of those e-cig thingys, but in the less 'glamorous' case of a foodie, the best I can do is a butternut squash fry. Unfortunately, there are no french fry equivalents to a nicotine patch, so these will have to do in the mean time, and I can't say I'm complaining at all.
These are totally simple to make but they'll be gone in minutes, so a word of advice; have some more cut and ready to go in to the oven before the plate is even finished. If you're counting, they're around half the calories of a portion of actual french fries and squash is high in vitamins A, C, E and B6 along with antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits and it regulates blood sugar.
As for the seeds, they're a delicious snack too, and a way to kick the potato chip habit (crisps for British people). They're like nuts so they're high in good fatty acids and low in the crappy trans-fat stuff. Not that I'm a nutritional expert, but Google tells me so. If you don't trust my nutritional judgement, at least trust me when I say they taste delicious and are pretty addictive too! Top salads with them or add them to your oatmeal!
Let me be your FFA (French Fries Anonymous) sponsor and get your apron and your squash on (especially while they're in season!) next time you're about to reach for a fry or even a cigarette!
*This recipe was adapted from the talented Foodess's recipe.
with Cajun Spice Ketchup + Roasted Squash Seeds
Serves 4 to share
YOU WILL NEED:
1 BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1 1/2 TBSP SUNFLOWER, VEGETABLE, COCONUT, OR OLIVE OIL
1/2 TSBP OIL FOR THE SEEDS
1/2 TSP PAPRIKA
1/2 TSP RAW SUGAR
SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER
FOR THE KETCHUP:
1/4 CUP KETCHUP
1 TSP WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1 TBSP CAJUN SPICE
1/2 TSP CHILLI POWDER OR CAYENNE PEPPER
Pre-heat your oven to 220C or 420F.
Cut your squash in half length ways and thoroughly scoop out the soft spaghetti squash and seed centre.
Place the seeds in a colander or sieve and rinse off the seeds, discarding the soft squash surrounding it.
Peel the outer layer of skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut the squash in your preferable french fry shape of choice.
Toss the fries in the 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil along with the paprika, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Spread the squash evenly on a parchment lined baking tray, making sure they're not on top of or touching each other.
Toss the seeds in the 1/2 tablespoon of oil and salt and pepper.
Roast the squash for 20 minutes, turning half way through, don't be lazy! They're done when they're darkened and crisp on the outside.
Roast the seeds along with the squash for 10-12 minutes until they have darkened in colour but make sure they don't burn.
For the ketchup, combine the ketchup, worcestershire sauce, cajun spice and chilli powder.
Enjoy the fries immediately! The seeds can be covered and stored in your pantry or cupboard for later!