I have a confession to make. Last week, I came to a breaking point with my kids. And it wasn’t over sibling squabbles, dinners uneaten, or forgotten manners. It was all about bread.
Between the bagels for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pizza for dinner, I realized my kids were on a major carb overload (and that’s not even going into snack territory where crackers, granola bars and cheerios lurk in the shadows).
Now I know, it’s not the worst problem in the world, right? They’re pickier eaters and at least they’re eating something. But at my breaking point when this realization dawned on me, all I wanted was to make something for my kids’ breakfast (ANYTHING!), that wasn’t a relative of bread. Not even a third cousin twice removed.
So I grabbed the first vegetable I saw: a giant butternut squash that happened to be sitting on my counter, and began frantically slicing away. Determined not to put another toasted bread product in front of my now-starving kids, I popped 2 slices of the squash in the toaster and crossed my fingers.
A warm, naturally sweet piece of “toast” that was buttery soft on the inside, yet sturdy enough on the outside to hold their favorite toppings.
I quickly slathered a slice of my new creation with my daughter’s favorite, almond butter and bananas. I presented it to her without fanfare, and to my shock, she gobbled up the whole thing. The. Whole. Thing.
My son was next and for him I chose his ol’ standby, yogurt and berries. Intrigued by his sister’s inhalation, he soon tried a bite (ok, it was tiny, but it was a bite nonetheless), and his response: “Mmm, good” (with mouth full of another bite).
Seconds were ordered and Butternut Squash Toast was born.
Now don’t go thinking this is just for kids, it has become a regular part of my breakfast (topped with eggs and bacon), lunch (avocado and tomato) and sometimes even dinner repertoire as well (goodbye burger buns!).
It is so insanely easy, and provides you with Vitamins A, C and B6, plus potassium and magnesium. Plus it’s low-fat, low-cal, gluten-free, Paleo and Whole-30 compliant. Holla!
Test it out for yourself. We promise, you’ll be back to thank us.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR NEW FAVORITE “TOAST”
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SQUASH
A butternut squash is made up of 2 parts – the bulb, or base, of the squash where the seeds live, and the neck, which contains just the squash flesh. If you want the lovely round toasts pictured here, you’ll want to use only the neck, and save the bulb for roasting.
So when at the grocery store, look for a squash that has a longer, fatter neck, and a shorter bulb. I find ones where the neck is almost as wide as the bulb to be the easiest to work with.
2. CUT AND PEEL
Cut off the bulb (off with its head!), and the stem end of the neck. Now stand it up on its end and use a sharp knife to vertically slice off the peel. Try as you may to use a peeler, but it is hard work for the best of ’em, and will usually end up taking twice as long.
If your knife isn’t cutting it (literally!), and you’ve been looking for a beautiful piece to add to your kitchen, this stunning Okami 7″ Santoku Knife is the only one you need. I use it every day for almost every task, and it’s never let me down. And it cuts through this Butternut Squash like, well, butter.
3. SLICE INTO ROUNDS
Now you have a lovely peeled squash that you can lay down and start cutting (with that sharpened knife, these suckers can be tough) into ¼” rounds.
Note: As much as you will love these heavenly toasts, a whole Butternut Squash will make a lot of rounds. Luckily you can wrap up the ones you don’t use and keep them for 3-5 days in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer. So when your craving hits, they’ll be ready to go.
4. TOAST X2
Place the rounds into your toaster and turn the toastiness level as high as it can go. There will be a little trial and error based on your specific toaster, but you’re looking for the edges to turn brown and the middle to feel soft to the touch. I’ve tried it on several different toasters and have found that you usually need 2 rounds of max level to get the perfect b’nut toast. (yea, we’re on a nickname basis now).
And hey, if you’re in the market for a new toaster, I highly recommend this puppy: the Cuisinart Classic 4-Slice Toaster. It toasts evenly (no flipping required) and has dual controls – so if the hubby likes his b’nut a little bit toastier, there’s no need to jockey for position at the control dial.
Now for the fun part – toppings! Here’s where you can customize your toast to whatever your kids’ (or your) personal tastes may be. I’ve had huge hits with PB&J, Eggs & Ham, and mini personal pizzas. The ones pictured here feature:
- Avocado + Fresh Tomatoes + Salt/Pepper
- Tomato Sauce + Shredded Cheese + Basil
- Scrambled Eggs + Turkey Bacon
- Cream Cheese + Cucumber + Smoked Salmon + Dill
- Almond butter + Banana + Cinnamon
- Cottage Cheese + Peaches + Sliced Almonds + Honey
- Greek Yogurt + Berries
As I alluded to earlier, these also make a killer substitution for a burger bun.
This won’t be hard. Soon you’ll be calling it b’nut toast too.
Pin it for reference, and join us on Instagram @whatmomslove to share pics of your creations. We’d love to know what your favorite toppings are!
Totally new to me. Very interesting toast
WHAT? This is BRILLIANT. And your photography is gorgeous.
Wow! That sounds really interesting!!! I’ll have to give it a whirl! Thanks for sharing!
This mom LOVES this. And like Oprah I Aso love bread. What a creative solution. Is butternut squash seasonal? Nonetheless I’m making this tomorrow morning.
Ooooh my gosh!! This looks SO SO GOOD. I am TOTALLY trying this next week. Thanks for the idea!
This is an absolutely fantastic idea!!! My 2yo is on an all carb diet
We call them “pancakes” or “toasties” which always helps with the littles 😉
THANK YOU for sharing! I can’t wait to try this. I love me some bread, but need to cut it out! Totally trying very soon!
You won’t be sorry, we are obsessed!
Excited to try “Toasties”! I was thinking I’m going to have to give it a new name!
Oh wow, this is awesome! We’re gluten free (and mostly paleo) so I’m always looking for bread replacements! I recently tried using eggplant as a pizza crust and, I’m not going to lie, I was not impressed. Butternut squash as toast though…sweet and delicious!! I think this will be perfect. Thanks for sharing <3
That is amazing! I had no idea you could do that
This is genius! I cannot wait to give this a try! love all your topping suggestions too!
I am excited to try this! I love Butternut Squash and grew a bunch in my garden this year, but there are only so many ways to eat it. I love finding new recipes for my favorites.
Love your post as well as the pictures. Yum
OMGut that is so darn creative I love it! I was unsure how it would turn out but wowzers it’s not too shabby! Great job with the creativity, it turned out tasty! Um… buh bye toast!!! :p
Danielle | http://www.FollowMyGut.com <3
Great idea… I know I could use a few less carbs!
This looks delicious! And I really like your Pinterest plugin too. Which one is that, if you don’t mind me asking.
Don’t mind at all. It’s from MiloTree. Hope you’ll join us on Pinterest too!
I love this!! I would eat this too. I’ve been doing more squash in general – from zoodles to spaghetti squash – but I never thought of this.
What a fantastic idea!
I LOVE this idea! Adding butternut to my shopping list today!
So, so good! Just tried a sweet version this morning…scooped my oatmeal on top…I want to try a savory version tomorrow with some eggs and bacon. Tweeted and shared. 🙂
Thrilled you love it just as much as we do! (Eggs & bacon is one of our current favs too!)
This is a lovely recipe I would have never thought! can’t wait to try 🙂
You are my HERO! Once a week I go grocery shopping determined to buy enough for the whole week. Without fail, I check out with this big pit in my stomach when I look at my 4 loafs of bread and 4 packs of bagels! Every. Single. Time. I think to myself there has got to be a better way to feed them! And voilà! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
You are SO welcome. We’re happy to hear that we’re not the only ones with this bread issue!
I don’t have a toaster- could you do this in the oven? That’s how I usually make my toast.
You could try it under the broiler, but I think it would become too soft (more roasted, not toasted!) in the oven otherwise.
We made this for dinner tonight. It was great! We used the bulb part too. We scooped the seeds out of the bulb, sliced it thin like the rest, toasted it, and then used it to make eggs in the basket (also called eggs in a hole). It’s like God put the hole in the squash just so we could try it like that. Perfect! Thank you for this great idea! 🙂
Thrilled you enjoyed it, and what an inventive way to use the bulb part too! Bravo.
Have you heard from any readers who may have tried this in the Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker? I wonder if I sliced them slightly thinner if they’d work…? Maybe I’ll toast up a bunch and freeze, then just warm them up that way… Experiments coming up!
Love the idea but with the same Cuisinart toaster I need 4 rounds turned all the way up if not more to get soften and edges to start to blister, 5 probably would have been better as I had some hard spots still. I sliced them a 1/4 think if not a bit less. Wondering if broiling would be easier? Very tasty base with my fried egg, avocado, salsa with a dollop of sour cream lunch today!
I will have to change out my regular sweet potato toast for this!
Just wanted to thank you SO MUCH for this idea — it has been life changing for me!!! What a blessing! And as far as I know, you invented it!! 🙂 When I look up “butternut squash toast,” I get recipes for pureed squash ON toast. So this is truly revolutionary!
I have been making “toasties” in the air fryer (350 degrees for 15 minutes — no flipping or shaking needed), while I get the toppings and tea ready. 🙂 Egg and bacon is my favorite (I actually use two toasties and make an egg sandwich), and I also like cottage cheese with some shredded apple and cinnamon, or PB2 with banana slices.
You mention freezing them; have you actually tried this? How would you prepare them? Thaw, then toast? Or toast from frozen? Very curious, as I do have a LOT, and I’m the only one around here who eats them.
……although I AM thinking about maybe taking some leftover cooked chicken, adding some bbq sauce, and serving that on toasties for supper tonight…. we’ll see how that is received! 🙂
Thank you again!!!!!!
Thank you so much for the idea! They did take a little bit in the toaster to not have the crunchy raw taste, it they were good!
I’d love to try this, but a bit nervous about goo-ing up our toaster. does it make a mess, or does the squash remain quite firm?
Hi Laura – the slices stay together nicely…should not be gooey!