If you haven’t tried it yet, pomegranate juice makes a clever culinary liquid, not just a beverage. In late fall and all winter long, I love using a combination of pomegranate juice and arils in cooking to add rich color, antioxidants, and naturally-derived sweetness with a hint of tartness. The juice is delightful when paired with butternut squash, like I do in this recipe. Serve this up just like you might mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes for a scrumptious change of taste—-and to punch up gorgeousness on your plate. It makes an ideal Meatless Monday or holiday dinner side, too!
pomegranate-smashed butternut squash
Yield: 4 side-dish servings
Serving size: 1/2 cup each
- 1 pound butternut squash cubes (about ¾-inch cubes)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils (seeds)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Add the butternut squash cubes to 1½-quart-capacity baking dish. (Hint: Buy squash already cubed!) Drizzle with the oil. Toss to coat. Add the pomegranate juice, salt, and pepper. Cover dish well with foil.
- Bake until the squash is fork-tender, about 50 minutes. Carefully remove the foil.
- Smash the butternut squash in baking dish with a potato masher. Stir well. Adjust seasoning.
- Sprinkle with the chives and pomegranate arils to serve.
Per serving: 120 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium, 16g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 7g total sugars includes 0g added sugars, 1g protein
The “Before” Version
Compare to Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Rather than milk or maple syrup or other mashing liquids, try POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice; it contains no added sugar, fillers, or preservatives
- To keep the recipe heart-friendly and vegetarian, used olive oil rather than butter
- Punch up flavor and interest with fresh chives and pomegranate arils