The butternut here has more firmness than oven-baked squash, which is often steamed in the baking pan until very soft. The cumin, cardamom and cinnamon give it a warmth and slight Indian-flavor. They go really well together, and the squash ends up dry-roasted. My husband is not a big fan of squash, but he really liked this recipe.
Using grass-fed/pastured bacon fat is preferred, although I have used the fat from normal, grain-fed bacon. The grass-fed animals are a source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (desirable) and vitamin D, with a lower toxic possibility.
All animals (& humans) store toxins in their fats, not the liver. Grain-fed animals might have pesticides from their feed stored in the fat.
Grain-fed animals have higher Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids (also known as EFA’s) in their meat and fats. Most of us get too much Omega 6 EFA’s, and not nearly enough Omega 3’s. (Read more about why this is important here: Six Sources of Healthier Fats, Omega 3 & 6 Balance, and Why You Care)
But On To The Recipe:
1/4-1/2 of a butternut squash
1-2 TB bacon fat (grass-fed bacon fat is preferred here)
2-3 tsp cumin
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
Heat about a medium to large pot with 2″ water on the stove to simmering.
Take a large whole butternut squash, and lay it on its side on a cutting board. (If its too “rolly”, try cutting a flat side for the bottom to sit on.) Cut off the stem, then cut off a few round slices (3-6). Lay each slice down flat and cut the skin off each layer. Then cut into small, bite-sized cubes.
Put butternut into the water and simmer until fork-tender, about 12-16 minutes. When done, drain off the water. (You could store it at this stage and use for anything.)
Make sure the buttnenut cubes are dry before frying or the fat will spit. In a frying pan, heat up some bacon fat to medium-low (3 out of 10 level). Add all the spices to the pan and stir for 1 minute. This “blooms the spices”, making them taste stronger. Add the drained butternut cubes. Cook and stir for about 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Season with sea salt and black pepper if you wish. Serve and enjoy!
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