Did you know that Butternut Squash can cause Contact Dermatitis? See I had never had butternut squash before and a friend was recently telling me about how she prepares it. Well it sounded simply divine so I picked up a beautiful specimen at Sprouts this week. Brian grilled a couple of steaks out on the balcony and I went to work on the side items. Asparagus and butternut squash were on the menu.
I sliced open the squash, cleaned out the seeds, oiled up the cut side, placed it on a cookie sheet and into the oven it went. I cleaned my knife, put the cutting board in the sink and went to the computer to check email, since the cook time is around 50 minutes. As I began clicking around I noticed that my finger tips on my left hand and part of my palm began to feel really tight. The skin in those areas began to smooth over and continued feeling tight. I went to the bathroom and washed my hands thoroughly thinking that I simply did not wash off all the squash juices. Returning to my chair and resuming my web surfing I noticed the tight feeling was not changing but getting worse.
Now at this point I was beginning to worry. I have never touched or eaten butternut squash before and my initial experience here is not starting off well. Well since I happen to be sitting at my computer and we know that the internet has every answer, I fired up the browser and a surfin' I went. I found THIS webpage and learned about the Contact Dermatitis.
Now I have no idea how common this issue is but since I only got a few hits on my search I am thinking I fall into the "rare" column on this one.
So what is the treatment? Wash hands (area) thoroughly and treat with a little cortisone cream. So I did that very thing and my fingertips seem to be on the mend. They no longer feel tight but they do look a little flaky. Ick. I know.
Now what else did I learn from this new endeavor? I LOVE butternut squash!! It was really delicious and super easy to prepare. So add one to the Veggie column!! And since its officially Fall I should have no shortage of my new squashy friend!
Here's how I prepared it.
1 Butternut Squash
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with no-stick spray OR cover a cookie sheet in foil for easier cleanup (I will be doing this next time)
Wash squash. Dry squash. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Hint: start in the middle and cut down, turn squash, start from center again and cut the other half
Clean out the seeds and stringy part. (much like a pumpkin)
Now coat cut sides with olive oil and place face down on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 45-55 minutes until done. You can easily poke with a fork when done.
Now scrape the pulp out of the shell and place in bowl. Add butter, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste.
Oh..and use gloves if you don't wanna take a chance of being weird, and now scaly, like me!