A Butternut Squash Dessert Recipe to Celebrate Nowruz

Often desserts are just empty, if delicious, calories. But then there are desserts like this one that deliver a solid dose of nutrients along with their sweetness. These poached squash slices are full of vitamins E and B6 and have more potassium than a banana. Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants, and pistachios give you protein and lots of healthy fats.

Persian Butternut Squash with Date-Cardamom Syrup Recipe

Serves 4

Shopping List
1 large organic butternut squash 
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
¼ cup date syrup
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons shelled pistachios

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds or 1 organic pomegranate

Large bowl, peeler, large frying pan with a lid 

1. Prep the pomegranate 

  • Cut the pomegranate in half crosswise.

Fill a large bowl with water and set the bowl in the sink. Hold a pomegranate half, cut side down, over the bowl. Using a wooden spoon, beat the outside of the fruit to knock the seeds into the water. Repeat with the other pomegranate half. Skim off any pith that floats to the surface. Drain the seeds, then measure out ¼ cup. Save the rest for another use.

2. Prep the syrup, squash, and pistachios 

  • Peel the squash and cut the neck into ½-inch-thick rounds. Save the rest for another use.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the date syrup, cardamom, and ¼ cup water.
  • Coarsely chop the pistachios.

3. Cook the squash and syrup
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil or butter. Add the squash rounds and cook, turning once, until golden brown but not yet tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add the syrup, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the squash is tender and the syrup thickens slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. 

Transfer the squash rounds to individual plates and spoon over the syrup. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and pistachios and serve.  

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 190, Protein: 3g (6% DV), Fiber: 3g (12% DV), Total Fat: 10g (15% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 6g (30% DV), Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV), Sodium: 20mg (1% DV), Carbohydrates: 23g (8% DV), Total Sugars: 16g, Added Sugars: 9g (18% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

Bonus recipe—ingredients included in box.