Daylight savings is upon us! If you're beginning to feel anxious about the physical and spiritual affect it will have on you, don't worry, you're not alone. It's very common for us to feel low energy, and even somewhat down in the weeks following. Though we rejoice over the extra hour of sleep in the morning, the earlier sunset and shorter daylight hours can leave us feeling blue.
One of the most important things you can do to safeguard against seasonal depression is to eat a seasonally conscious diet filled with colorful and locally sourced produce. Foods such as squash, which is rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins that influence your serotonin levels, play a vital role in regulating your mood throughout the winter months.
Roasted Butternut Squash Stew With Spiced Yogurt
For the Stew
- 1 large organic butternut squash
- 1 leek
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth (homemade or store bought)
- 1/2 cup of brown basmati rice, salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Peel and cube butternut squash and then toss to coat with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt. Roast for 1/2 hour. Remove from oven and reserve 1/2 a cup.
3. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a soup pot. Add sliced onion, leek, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and saute until slightly caramelized. Add the rice, vegetable broth and apple cider vinegar. Let simmer for a few minutes.
4. Add the reserved squash rest to the soup, cover and cook on low to medium heat for another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. When the rice is fully cooked and the squash has gone mushy, use a large fork to mash it until you've achieved a rustic looking puree. Stir in another large tablespoon of coconut oil + salt to taste. Garnish with a dollop of spiced yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds, or omit this step for a vegan soup.
For the Spiced Yogurt
- 1 cup of whole fat organic yogurt
- 1/4 cup of butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and maple syrup
Place ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. Serve over the stew.
Photo courtesy of the author