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Raw & Fermented Treats

Raw Butternut Squash Cookies

butternut-squash-cookies

I love cookies in all their permutations: chewy, crunchy, chocolately, nutty and spicy. However, since we eat grain and dairy-free, I have to find new ways to satisfy my cookie craving.

If you’re senstive to gluten, on a raw food or GAPS/SCD diet, or vegan, then these tasty treats will appeal to your neglected inner Cookie Monster too. As an added bonus, butternut squash is good for you! 

Nutrition

Winter squash, unlike its summer equivalent, provides an outstanding variety of conventional nutrients. Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a great source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. In addition, winter squash is a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid.

Selection and Storage

Winter squash are at their best from late September to November when they are in season. Winter squash, relatives of both the melon and the cucumber, come in many different varieties. While each type varies in shape, color, size and flavor, they all have hard protective skins that are difficult to pierce that give them a long storage life of up to six months.

Winter squash are prone to decay, so it is important to inspect them carefully before purchase. Choose ones that are firm, heavy for their size and have dull, not glossy, rinds. The rind should be hard as soft rinds may indicate that the squash is watery and lacking in flavor. Avoid those with any signs of decay, which manifest as areas that are water-soaked areas or moldy.

Depending upon the variety, winter squash can be kept for up to six months. They should be kept away from direct exposure to light and should not be subject to extreme heat or extreme cold. The ideal temperature for storing winter squash is between 50-60°F.

Once it is cut, cover the pieces of winter squash in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for one or two days. The best way to freeze winter squash is to first cut it into pieces of suitable size for individual recipes.

With a bounty of nutrition, butternut squash cookies are both delicious and good for you. (And making them gives me yet another delicious excuse to use my Excalibur dehydrator, which is one of my very favorite kitchen tools.)

Raw Butternut Squash Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups peeled butternut squash, chopped into medium sized chunks
  2. 1 cup raisins
  3. Juice of 1 orange
  4. 3-4 Tbsp. raw honey, date paste or maple syrup, OR use 10-12 drops of liquid Stevia, to taste
  5. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  7. dash of cardamom (optional)
  8. 1/2 cup butternut squash or pumpkin seeds, soaked for 6 hours (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend the chopped butternut squash and transfer to a bowl.
  2. In a food processor, blend raisins and juice from 1 orange. Transfer to the butternut squash mixture.
  3. Add the sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom (optional) and soaked pumpkin seeds (optional) to the butternut squash mixture.
  4. Mix everything thoroughly.
  5. Place wax paper or a silicone sheet on your food dehydrator tray.
  6. Using a scoop or spoon, place balls of the cookie mixture onto the tray until it's gone.
  7. Flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Set the dehydrator to 105 degrees, and leave for 10-12 hours. (You could also dry them in a 180-degree oven for 1-2 hours, but watch them so they don't dry out too much or burn.)
  9. Enjoy with an ice cold glass of almond, hemp or raw cow's milk!
Tools
  1. Food Processor
  2. Dehydrator
Small Footprint Family http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/

Leave a Comment

21 Comments

  • Thanks so much for posting this recipe, but it just wasn’t very good :) I made it as written, except I added hemp seeds instead of pumpkin seeds, and the overriding flavor was, unsurprisingly, one of raw squash. Perhaps this is an acquired taste? It is chewy as a cookie should be, but that’s where the resemblance ends. I do appreciate the attempt to try creative cookies, since I am paleo and find it tough to make anything approaching what I have given up. But I think the recipe needs a revision before it can be endorsed, lol.

    • Thanks for your honesty. These were created more for the raw foodies out there, and so they do indeed taste like raw squash, an acquired taste that is usually fine by raw foodists. If I were to make a Paleo style cookie using similar ingredients, I’d add maple syrup or coconut sugar, maybe some nut flour or coconut flour and egg, and bake it for sure!!

  • I just made these cookies and they taste lovely, thank you very much for the recipe. It is hard to find recipes that included whole food ingredients.

  • Good recipe, but the nutrition information has one error. Squash is not a significant source of omega 3 fats. We need daily amounts in the thousands of miligrams. But a cup of squash only delivers about 35 milligrams. Yes there is some, but the amount is not nutritionally significant.

    • Thanks so much for commenting. According to my research, a cup of baked winter squash contains approximately 200 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, which is 8% of the Daily Value for the nutrient. This makes winter squash a good—but not great or outstanding—source of omega-3s, especially if you eat the seeds. Of course we can question the U.S. Daily Value standards, or examine the poor conversion rate of ALA to DHA, but that’s another conversation. :)

  • Is butternut squash (and other squashes) safe to eat raw? I mean, could you digest it as well as cooked? This recipe seems unnatural (but delicious!) to me. Sorry.

    • Absolutely safe. The recipe is adapted from a raw food site that has many other recipes for veggies you might not have thought to eat raw, like eggplant and sweet potato. From my study of raw food diets, the only veggies I’ve found that are unsafe to eat raw are rhubarb, potatoes and some beans.

      People’s digestion capabilities may vary (I can’t eat any grains, for example), but I’ve never heard of anyone having a problem with raw squash or pumpkin.

      Thanks for your comment!
      -Dawn at SFF

    • You could try using the oven on the lowest setting for sure. I have never done them that way, but you’ll probably want to watch them carefully so they don’t dry out too much or bake. Best, Dawn

    • Hi, I lost my dehydrator months ago, so I just cleared the towels out of my airing cupboard, it works just fine although slower than a dehydrator, hope this helps 😀

    • Hi Spiritual Vegan! If you can wait until Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) a LOT of kitchen items go on sale through JCPenney and Kohl’s. I got my dehydrator from Kohl’s for I think $10 or $15, normally it was $40. I’m going to try this recipe today. I don’t think mine has an adjustment knob on it though – just plug it in and go. I’ll have to check the instruction manual.

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