• 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup of soft goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ********************
  • Dairy-Free Pesto:
  • 1 cup of soaked walnuts/cashews
  • 3 stems full of basil leaves
  • 1/2 spinach
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt

Oh my goodness! I forgot how sweet, creamy, and satisfying the butternut squash is! Talk about a win-win; it gets even sweeter in the nutritional department too but I am sure you saw that coming!

Research has shown that eating the rainbow of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health ailments.  This beautiful winter squash is no exception with it’s glorious amounts of vitamin A, C, E, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and manganese; it is a must add to your diet.

One last tid-bit of food science is that 1 cup of cut butternut squash provides 50% of the RDA of vitamin C and this essential antioxidant has over 300 needs in the body!  Also, that same 1 cup has more potassium than a banana! Sorry, I lied, it was two tid-bits I had to share {wink wink}!

 

ButternutGoat1

Aren’t those the cutest bite size hors d’ oeuvres ever?! The problem is they taste so good and with their underlying sweetness, sharp goat cheese punch and the diary free pesto rounding it all out to perfection, it is hard to not eat more than your share when making them.

I have to say, I saw this idea of chopping the squash into squares years ago in one of my {hundreds} cookbooks. Pairing it with these {my favorite} flavors is like fireworks in your mouth..surprise after surprise!  I kept eating them like it was my job..oh wait, it is so it is all good {wink wink}.

ButternutGoat2

Baking the squash for 15 minutes and letting it cool will make for easy cutting. Then you place the cut squares in the oven for another 15-20 minutes until “firmly soft”

 

Butternut Goat Cheese & Pesto Bites {dairy free option}
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 35-45

Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • ½ cup of soft goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil
  • ******************************************
  • To Make Dairy-Free Pesto:
  • 1 cup of soaked walnuts or cashews
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh spinach
  • 3 stems full of basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions
  1. Bake butternut squash in a 350 oven for 15 minutes and cool until ready to cut.
  2. In a food processor or Vitamix, blend all the pesto ingredients until creamy and refrigerate.
  3. After squash is cooled, cut in half and use a peeler to discard the skin.
  4. Cut the edges off the rounded halves to give it a more box square look. You can eat or freeze leftover slices.
  5. Cut halves into cubed squares, trying to keep them all similar in size for baking purposes.
  6. In a large bowl, mix squares with coconut oil and place on a cookie sheet, bake for 15-20 min. until they are firm but soft.
  7. Pipe goat cheese on squares and broil for 5 minutes to get that pretty golden edge. Drizzle pesto and enjoy immediately.

Notes
If time is of the essence you can pre-bake and cut squash. It will last in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to assemble them. I love the flavors of the goat cheese with the pesto.However, if you are vegan or dairy free you can just drizzle the pesto over the squash. I use other nuts in this pesto recipe because pine nuts have been very costly lately (not to mention they are mostly from China). I prefer to keep it in the states with the “somewhat” USDA standards…no disrespect to my Asian friends. Soaking nuts does help make the pesto creamy. Read my post on soaking nuts if you are new to this concept click on the P.S. below this post.

With a Spoonful of Health,

Dawn-Signature

 

 

 

 

P.S. For those who are not familiar with soaking nuts read this.