When I embarked on my new “health mission” I happily gave up caffeine, meat and chicken (except for the rare occasion) , processed foods and sugar (ok I’m still working on this) but I decided from the onset that I was not ready to give up wine, chocolate, occasional sushi and delicious food.
While I still love to eat I have discovered new ways of serving my favourite ingredients without compromising taste or health.
I have recently changed the way I roast butternut-my favourite vegetable-and I eat this once a week instead of animal protein. I was always filled with guilt when eating this vegetable as butternut is a “bad carb”, but quite frankly I think butternut is a far healthier option than hormone and antibiotic ridden chicken or meat. Butternut contains fibre, vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, omega 3’s phytonutrients and antioxidants and no animals were harmed during this caramelising process.
I made this dish for dinner and half way during cooking I added a quartered onion to the roasting pan and served this alongside a green salad topped with tomato, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds with a raw honey and unfiltered apple cider vinegar dressing. I loved every spoonful and felt no resentment towards my husband enjoying the Nando’s chicken I ordered for him to enjoy with his salad. Yes, I am married to man who hates vegetables.
The butternut caramelises beautifully and tastes as good as when I used to add lashings of butter and muscovado sugar to make a sweet boere-style side dish. Put away the peeler as much of the goodness is found in the skin.
Coconut sugar is high in calories but is full of nutrients and has half the GI value of sugar. It has a gorgeous caramel flavour, similar to brown sugar and is safe for diabetics. When compared to brown sugar, coconut sugar has 18 times the potassium, 30 times the phosphorus and over 10 times the amount of zinc. Another delicious sugar alternative to use when roasting butternut is Maple syrup (not Maple flavoured Huletts syrup) and raw honey.
So in conclusion coconut sugar is not on par with starving yourself on a diet plan, but combined with coconut oil and butternut, it makes a more nutritious meal than cottage pie or lasagne!
Badass Boere-style butternut
1 whole butternut halved, seeds removed (optional) and sliced
1 tablespoon organic, extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut sugar.
- Heat a small baking tray with a non-stick mat in the oven or on a hot plate for a few seconds
- Add the coconut oil and allow to melt
- Toss through the butternut and sugar
- Roast at 200 ˚C for 30-40 minutes or until caramelised and crispy to your liking
Coconut sugar can be purchased from Fresh Earth, Emmarentia (my new favourite feel-good place). http://www.freshearth.co.za/store/