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Winter squash and sage

A healthy combination

Karen Miller
Winter squash and sage
(Photo: American Institute for Cancer Research)

You know that winter is on its way when butternut squash is plentiful in the supermarkets. Butternut, also called winter squash, is high in potassium and vitamins A, B-6 and C.

This particular recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research combines squash with two additional ingredients that you might not associate with health benefits. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D. It is well known that vitamin D contributes to good bone health, but its deficiency may also be linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The recipe also contains sage leaves, which add more than just flavor. Herbs such as sage contain a variety of antioxidants, or compounds that block free radicals. These are errant molecules that can damage a cell’s DNA, which can result in cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The recipe is low in calories, fat and sodium, but is a good source of protein and fiber.


  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash, ½ inch (1 lb.)
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 oz. package fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In medium size bowl, toss squash with 1 tbsp. olive oil.

  3. Arrange butternut squash on baking pan. Roast until fork tender, about 25-30 minutes. Set aside.

  4. In large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and pinch of salt and sauté 4 minutes. Add sage leaves and continue sautéing 2 minutes. Mix in squash. Continue to sauté another minute.

  5. Season to taste with pepper and serve warm garnished with cheese.

Nutritional analysis

Calories: 121

Total fat: 7 g (1 g saturated fat)

Carbohydrate: 14 g

Protein: 2.5 g

Fiber: 2.5 g

Sodium: 25 mg

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research