With the latest warnings about processed meats from the World Health Organization, here’s a great “bacon” recipe without any of the health risks from the cookbook The Everyday Squash Cook. And it tastes great! Trust me, the bacon eaters in my family loved it! It even makes a delicious BLT . ~ Joanne
Butternut “Bacon” from The Everyday Squash Cook
MAKES 24 TO 36 BACON STRIPS
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- Grapeseed, peanut or vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel the butternut squash. Next, peel the flesh into long strips, applying firm pressure for adequate thickness. Peel as many strips as you wish (about 6 to 8 strips per person); reserve any unused squash for another dish.
In a frying pan, heat 1/₈ inch of oil (just enough to “float” the squash strips) over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, carefully place a few strips of squash in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. (We recommend doing a trial strip first, as butternut bacon cooks extremely quickly.)
Cook the squash strips, flipping once, until the edges are lightly browned and a little crispy, about 10 to 15 seconds per side. Be careful not to overcook—dark, fully crisp bacon will taste burnt.
Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. (If cooking a large batch, keep warm in a low oven.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tip: Try putting 2 or 3 strips of butternut bacon on top of a serving of green salad—it’s a simple, elegant and tasty garnish.
By the way, The Everyday Squash Cook is my latest, favourite cookbook. I’ve made so many mouth-watering dishes from this one book! From Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, to the incredible Spaghetti Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Ginger, to Butternut Squash Brownies (yum!). And of course, Butternut Bacon – surprisingly tasty and great for any vegans in the crowd. No wonder it was shortlisted for a 2015 Taste Canada Award. Check it out! • Joanne
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and healthy oils.One medium-sized zucchini has as much potassium as an average banana, and more than a cup of fat-free milk.Cucurbitacins, found in many types of squash, are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. There is promising research, too, supporting their anticancer properties.Canned pumpkin has more than 750% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A in less than one cup, more than nearly any other natural food.Pumpkin, butternut, acorn, pattypan, zucchini, kabocha, hubbard, spaghettithe variety of squashes is only surpassed by the number of ways you can enjoy their taste and nutritional benefits. Forget the mushy side dish you may be accustomed to eating at holiday dinners. You can make delicious sundae toppings, pancakes, muffins, breads, soups, dips, risotto, burgers, casserolesand an incredibly easy butternut “bacon” that you’ll want to eat every day.Featuring more than 100 recipes from morning to night, The Everyday Squash Cook also includes tips on handling, cutting and storing squash and a handy visual guide to the most common varieties.