Butternut Squash Seed Oil

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to go to a local gourmet shop called O'live a Little, to meet the makers of one of our favorite new products, butternut squash seed oil, and to see a local chef demonstrate a couple of recipes using that product. It was a great hour of foodie fun and we learned quite a bit about the product and how to use it, all of which we'd like to share with you!

First, some background on butternut squash seed oil. Greg and Kelly Woodworth of Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods live in the Finger Lakes region of New York near Martin Farms, a farm that grows lots and lots of butternut squash. Working with food scientists from Cornell University, they developed a way to use the farm's squash seeds to make squash seed oil in a process by which nothing goes to waste. The seeds are batch-roasted, which makes the oil come to the surface, and then they are cold-pressed to expel the oil. 20% of the seed is oil, and one bottle of the oil comes from the seeds of about 8 to 10 butternut squashes. The "seed cake" that is leftover is sold to a local heirloom pig farm, while a few bits go to a soap company that uses it as an exfoliant in their soaps. The oil is a fantastic alternative to olive oil. It has a deep amber color and imparts flavors of cashews, peanuts and the nuttiness one finds in clarified butter, even though it contains no nuts, since it is 100% butternut squash seed oil. It is cholesterol free and 40% of an adult's recommended daily allowance of vitamin A can be had in one tablespoon. When it gets to O'live A Little, it is usually less than two weeks old, and has a shelf live of about 15 months.

Next, some of the tasty treats we tried that were demonstrated by Chef Michael Calvert of Bellini's Italian Eatery. Pictured above, a perfect fall snack of Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta drizzled with butternut squash seed oil. Below, a creamy, nutty Butternut Squash Risotto with Grilled Shrimp. Other snacks not pictured included Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese, Sweet Potato Casserole and Southern Winter Squash Hummus. Everything was so delicious!

Finally, here are links to some sweet and savory recipes that use butternut squash seed oil, graciously provided by the owners of the shop, Matt and Jennifer Ostrowski, as well as Chef Michael Calvert and Stacey Warrings of Bellini's Italian Eatery. You can purchase O'live A Little Butternut Squash Seed Oil here, or at a retailer near you (on this list here). It is a wonderful product that certainly inspires culinary creativity!

1 comment:

jck said...

Still haven't used any of the bottle I bought with you, but this reminds me that I should--and gives me some good ideas.

Might also, because of flavor profile, try in an Asian dish instead of sesame oil.