Big C's behavior has been less volatile (she's easily frustrated), and the start to her 1st grade school year has gone wonderfully. Her sister, Little A, is doing great, too -- no complaints from me. In fact, while I do plan on allowing some sugar back in the diet, I don't plan on going back to the way things were before. It's not like we ate a lot o sugar before this, but once you add up the small amounts -- the raspberries, the bit of jam on a sandwich (grains = sugar), the side of strawberries at lunch -- and the sugar adds up fast.
Speaking of sugar, I'm a regular grocery store ad scanner, and sometimes I'm about beside myself when I look at some of the pages. A lot of people don't think about grains breaking down into sugar quickly in the body (so that eating grains is essentially like eating sugar in terms of insulin response), but that's what really happens. These are the actual products from the grocery store ad where I typically shop for groceries: cheese crackers, regular crackers, soda, soda, more soda, hamburger buns, bread loaf, baked beans, sports drink, cookies, graham crackers, pretzel snacks, potato chips, cake rolls and peanut butter bars. It's like a sugar bomb exploded all over the page.
Then I turn the page of the ad, and guess what comes up? Rice snacks, confectioner's and brown sugar, cheese puffs, pretzels, frozen pizzas and pizza rolls, boxed instant rice, boxed pasta with seasoning packet, Kool-Aid (I had a permanent Kool-Aid mustache as a kid that would literally not come off), animal crackers and cookies, frozen juice concentrate, canned ravioli (a kid staple in my house growing up), refrigerator biscuits and rolls, peanut butter cups, chocolate covered mint candies, more boxed pasta, popcorn, frozen dinners (featuring pasta and mashed potatoes), and frozen breaded chicken and veal patties. No wonder America is unhealthy, no wonder more kids have behavioral disorders and autism, no wonder everyone is so sick. Look at the junk being sold to us. And almost everyone is buying it! If I turn the ad two more pages, there's another page almost just like the other two full of juice, pasta, candy and frozen pizza. I'm not saying I'm perfect, and I did use to buy a lot of that stuff -- heck, I grew up on all of that stuff. But it's time for us to get back to basics -- vegetables, fruits, grass-fed and free-range meats, nuts, seeds, etc. Who's with me?
Okay, now that I'm done with my rant, let's get down to the recipe for today. My mother-in-law brought me a butternut squash from a local farmer's market. I'm not a big squash fan, and last year I attempted a butternut squash soup that left me a little queasy around the squash, so I wasn't sure what to do with the beast (it was a big squash). But my tastes have changed so much over the past year, and I have really wanted to find new ways to make -- and like -- all of the lovely kinds of squash I see at the market. James came across some recipes for butternut squash fries and I was sold. So I used the cooking method from the Urban Poser but added some coconut oil and more salt to my version. Little A ate it up. Big C, aka The Pickiest Eater Ever, said they weren't terrible but they weren't her favorite. In my book, that's an A.
Butternut Squash Fries
1 small butternut squash or just the neck from a large butternut squash
2 tsp coconut oil, melted
1. Line a baking sheet with paper towel. Cut the neck off of the butternut squash, then carefully peel the skin off using a sharp knife. If using the bottom half of the squash, scoop out and discard seeds (or feed them to your chickens if you're lucky enough to have a flock). Cut the squash into 1/4-inch strips, doing your best to keep the pieces the same size. Lay on the paper towel, sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
2. After squash has rested, pat dry with paper towels. Remove paper towel from baking sheet and arrange squash in a single layer on the sheet. Place under the broiler on high about 6 inches away from the heating element.
3. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the squash starts to brown. With a large spatula, gently turn the fries over (be gentle or the pieces will break). Continue to broil another few minutes, then flip again. Broil some more and flip until the fries are crispy golden brown. Sprinkle again with salt. Serve.