Cranberry Orange Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

This holiday recipe is a great alternative to sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows and brown sugar (1/4 C = 15g of carbohydrate). You know the ones I’m talking about. We started out so  healthy with a sweet potato and then we covered it in butter and sugar.

There has to be a better way.

Let me introduce you to one of my favorites, butternut squash. As a diabetes educator, I’m always looking for ways to give my diabetics more food for less carbohydrates. Swap butternut squash for sweet potatoes and you’ve got it. Butternut squash is lower carbohydrate and still high in nutrients. It’s also (in my humble opinion) equally delicious. All good things.

Now. What IS a butternut squash?

Trust me it exists. It’s in the produce section of your grocery store, but I bet you had no idea what you were looking at when you saw it. So, let’s review the butternut squash:

Facts about Butternut Squash

Skip the candied sweet potatoes and try this recipe. It’s so amazing.

Cranberry Orange Butternut Squash

Healthy ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas


  • 4-5 C Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 Package of fresh Cranberries
  • 1 C English walnuts
  • 1/2 C toasted coconut
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil


  1. Boil the butternut squash until able to be pierced by a fork. Remove from heat and drain. 
  2. While squash is boiling, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cranberries and walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large serving bowl, combine squash, cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, cranberries, and orange ingredients.
  4. Top with nuts and coconut.
  5. Serve warm.

A Note to the Diabetics: Usually you can have 1 C of butternut squash for 15 grams of carbohydrate. However, I added a few carbs here like orange juice and brown sugar. So, I would count it as 18 grams of carbohydrate per cup. It’s still mostly squash and the cranberries add very little since they’re a mostly sour fruit.

If we were comparing this dish to candied sweet potatoes, you would have to count 60 grams of carbohydrate for one cup of that dish. 

Bon Appetite!

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