Squash Risotto: Squeeze more squash into your diet

Squash Risotto: Squeeze more squash into your diet

October 26, 2021

By Esther Boateng

It’s that time of the year again when most of us overindulge in pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin this, pumpkin that; it’s enough to make your head spin. Pause, take a break, and breathe. And while doing so, check out this deliciously indulgent recipe. I promise, you do not have to peel or chop a single pumpkin or squash, unless you want to, in which case, knock yourself out. You can never have too many veggies; the more the merrier.


There are many versions of risotto. You can pick and choose whichever flavor profile suits your palate. I haven’t used saffron in a while, so I took the opportunity to add it to this straightforward recipe to upgrade the nutritional profile, as well as boost the flavor; after all, variety is the spice of life. 


Saffron goes well with turmeric, another powerful and wonderfully potent spice. If you’re unfamiliar with saffron, sometimes referred to as ‘golden saffron,’ there’s no need to fear the unknown. Take a pinch of saffron and grind the shreds with a pestle and mortar, then add a few tablespoons of water, let it sit for five minutes, and watch the magic unfold. The shreds will turn the water a vibrant orange color. Pour this liquid over your rice, and let it cook as normal. The vibrant orange color of this spice will elevate any rice dish into something truly special.


The same can be said for the subtly sweet and delicate flavor of Dr. Cowan’s Winter Squash Powder, made from a variety of heirloom squash: Waltham Butternut, Red Curry, Blue Hubbard, and Honeynut.  Include Winter Squash in your diet to fuel your body with anti-inflammatory omega fats, dietary fiber, and antioxidants such as carotenoids. Did you know that no single food provides a greater percentage of certain carotenoids than Winter Squash? Now that you’re armed with a little more information, you can make wiser choices in the kitchen.  Also, the next time you’re faced with the what’s-for-dinner question, you can whip out this deliciously simple recipe and execute it with finesse. Bon appétit.



Squash Risotto



1 large onion

3 Tbsp butter or oil

2 cups of Arborio white rice

3 cups fish stock or bone broth

2 Tbsp Dr. Cowan’s Garden Winter Squash Powder

1 Tbsp Dr. Cowan’s Garden Root Medley Powder

1/2 tsp Dr. Cowan’s Garden Turmeric Powder

Pinch saffron (optional)

3 cloves garlic

1 cup Parmesan or your favorite hard cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 sweet chili pepper (optional)

Cooked shrimp or other protein (optional)

2 wineglasses of dry white wine (optional)




  1. Put the stock or broth in a pan on medium heat and cook for a few minutes until warm; set aside.
  2. Grate the cheese and set aside.
  3. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and press the garlic. Chop and de-seed the chili pepper, if you are using one.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic.
  5. Sauté the onions and garlic until tender at a medium heat. When the veggies have softened, add the rice and stir for 2-3 minutes to lightly fry it until it turns slightly translucent.
  6. This is the time to add dry wine if you are using it, and turn up the heat.
  7. When the alcohol has fully absorbed, add one cup of stock or broth, along with a pinch of salt, pepper, vegetable powders, and any other spices or herbs you wish to use, and stir.
  8. Turn down the heat so the rice does not cook too quickly on the outside.
  9. Keep adding stock or broth, and stir, allowing each portion of liquid to be absorbed before adding the next batch. This will take roughly 15 minutes or so.
  10. Continue with this process, and taste as you go along until the rice is cooked. If you run out of stock or broth, add boiling water.
  11. When you are satisfied the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat.
  12. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, grated Parmesan, and sweet chili (optional) to the rice, and stir well. Serve with a protein of your choice or enjoy on its own.




Risotto rice usually has a creamy consistency, and it is traditionally cooked al dente, which means it is tender but it still has a firm bite to it. Personal preference will dictate how you cook your rice. If you find it needs more of a creamy texture, add butter, cream, or cheese, to achieve your desired consistency.

When I sauté veggies, I like to add the onions first, let it cook, and then add the garlic. The onions take longer to cook, so you might want to add it before the garlic; again, this is a personal preference.  



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