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EC: You Should Eat Squash for Breakfast
Credit: Photo by robynmac via Getty Images

If you have not been eating squash for breakfast, you have not been living your best life, and I feel really guilty about not having brought this up before. But this isn't about me; this is about you and breakfast and eating squash and being a happy, satisfied, fully-realized person to a degree that you would not have achieved had you not started eating squash for breakfast. You know how great sweet potatoes are as a morning carb? All versatile, satisfying, and packed with nutrients? Samesies for squash, and we're talking winter squash here—like kabocha, butternut, acorn, delicata—not, say crookneck. Though I'm sure that's delightful, too. Sure, eat crookneck squash for breakfast if you feel like it. I'm not the breakfast police.

But winter squash—there's sometimes a bit of confusion there in the name. It's not like tomatoes or strawberries where there's a finite season and you're really just cheating yourself by eating an inferior version outside of it. Winter squashes just tend to be harvested during the fall, and they keep well for a long dang time. They're dense and sweet, sort of like your parents' ancient dog, but unlike cuddly, incontinent ol' Max, winter squash are excellent served roasted, steamed, mashed, hashed, or even raw.

Yes, raw! As ridiculous temperatures encroach upon our land and the prospect of standing anywhere near a heat source causes the back of your neck to prickle, know that society has conditioned you to believe that all squash must be served cooked, and you may soundly reject these limitations. Slice raw squash into small cubes or sticks, shave it into ribbons, or get clever with shapes on the mandoline or wacky noodles on the spiralizer and add all this to your grain bowl or yogurt. It's shockingly great. Consider quick pickling them with a little bit of vinegar.

But if you don't mind stepping up to a stove, oh boy, is your breakfast world about to blow up. Steamed, roasted or baked slices of squash make marvelous stand-ins for bread, even if you cook and cool them to be eaten and topped later. Butternut squash rounds slathered with almond butter and sprinkled with sea salt or dotted with preserves are a revelation, and they tend to leave me feeling completely fed, but not over-full like, say, a bagel tends to. Steamed and chilled chunks of kabocha with eggs—same deal, and you can take them sweet with a little maple and cinnamon, or savory with your favorite curry blend, or salt and pepper.

It's weird how we relegate certain vegetables to dinner. Let's maybe not. Try squash for breakfast just once and see how it goes from there. If you never try it again, fine, and feel free to @ me. If it goes well for you, same. Just never let it be said that I tried to squash your dreams of a better breakfast.

p.s. It's Paleo, too. I feel almost legally obligated to mention that.