Cinnamon Butternut Squash and Plantain with Apple

September 17, 2012 in Categories: , , by

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This simple vegetable dish is so versatile.  I find myself making a version of this often (I especially enjoy it beside pork!), in part because it’s quick to put together and bakes relatively quickly (especially compared to other root vegetables).  I also love that I can throw it in the oven at whatever temperature my meat is cooking and it seems to always work out.  And what better way to ring in the fall than with these iconic fall flavors!

 I’m on a plantain kick these days.  If you can’t find green plantains (or can’t handle how starchy they are), simply omit them (you can add a little more squash and/or a little more apple).  I also love butternut squash, but you could use acorn squash, fresh pumpkin or any other winter squash you can get your hands on (or a mix of a couple of varieties).  Good apple varieties for cooking are granny smith, rome beauty, mutsu/crispin and fuji.  Serves 5-6.

Cinnamon Butternut Squash and Plantain with Apple


  • 1 ½ pounds butternut squash
  • 1 large green plantain
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) apple
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (this is also delicious with red palm oil or bacon fat)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. Peel and seed squash.  Cut into slightly smaller than 1” cubes.
  2. Cut plantain lengthwise in half and remove peel.  Cut into ½” thick semi-circles.
  3. Peel and core apple and cut into ½” cubes.
  4. Toss squash, plantain and apple with melted coconut oil and cinnamon.  Place in a 9×9” baking dish.
  5. Bake in the oven until tender.  At 350F, it takes 30 minutes to cook.  At 375F, it takes 20 minutes to cook.  At 425F, it takes 10 minutes to cook.  Enjoy!

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:


I’d noticed a lot of plantain recipes! We don’t get them often here… but I’d been meaning to ask you if they had much fructose?

I’m on a strict ultra low fructose diet at the moment (mental health reasons – fructose makes me very stressed out). I’ve basically just been eating meat and green/white veggies. So brocoli is ok, but carrots are out. I don’t know which root vegetables are super-low fructose but if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear about ‘safe’ carbs that I could try.

I know I need more carbs, but as most of the ‘safe’ carbs tend to be root vegetables I’m a bit stuck for ideas.

Thanks! I’d love to know.
I’m still really just experimenting with it. But I think I need to stay under 0.6g/100g of fructose (at least, the veggies on a list that I found in the 0-.06 category have been fine) Glucose isn’t an issue though.

I had a read of your FODMAP post, but it’s a bit tricky because I know I can’t have some of the things that are ok for people who can’t have FODMAPS.

The short story is that I’m not dealing with stress very well (unavoidably difficult life circumstances) and I cut out sugar at the start of the year and felt amazing. I was so much calmer! But over the past 9 months I’ve found I’m getting more and more sensitive to smaller and smaller amounts of fructose. I also find it highly addictive. Whenever I have some I go into ‘flight or fright’ mode and often it triggers a small panic attack. The strict diet is a temporary solution, and I’ve booked in to see a psychologist to see if I can work through the issues… but for now I’m avoiding all sources of fructose except the really low fructose veggies (mostly greens).

I’m pretty sure I’m not getting enough carbs though! I’m wondering if a bit of white rice might be the easy answer… what is the issue with rice, from a paleo perspective?

How do you handle vegetables like carrots? winter squash? Is it just free fructose that’s a problem or are fructose chains like polyols and inulin a problem too? White rice might be a good option as a carb with virtually no fructose.

I haven’t tried carrots and squash lately, but they do stimulate cravings for me, and the addiction part of it is tough (I broke my W30 at day 26 after tasting a tiny tiny bit of coconut butter I’d made for the kids. Binged on the whole batch 🙁 and then some muffins I’d made for them too. Hence recognising the need for some professional psychological help 🙂

.Polyols seem fine though. I’ve had onions, leeks etc with no problem. Havent tried any significant sources of inulin as far as I know (chicory?). It’s all been in the past couple of months that things have narrowed down so much. 5 or 6 weeks ago I did the Whole 30 (but avoiding as much fructose as possible).

Now I’m just doing everything I can to keep things calm at home, look after myself as much as possible to keep stress levels low and hanging out for that shrink appointment! 🙂 I’m hoping that with her help to manage things better I’ll be able to reintroduce veggies and nuts and coconut at least. (which is where I was a few months ago)

So with rice, if I wanted to stay relatively low carb (I’m not very active) assuming I eat green/white veggies and meat and fat only at each meal and have some rice with dinner how much would you recommend? (and do I measure it dry or cooked?)

Thanks so much for your help! I am so glad I found your blog, you really are a great encouragement and your blog is such a helpful source of information.

I tried this recipe, which was very easy, but…… the “green” plantain was like chewing cardboard (very dry). The squash and apple were good. Is there a secret to picking out a green plantain? The one I picked was literally green. They seem to then turn yellow, then black. Yes, I’m new to plantains.
BTW, I loved the plantain pancakes recipe.

It’s something I’m still figuring out. When plantains are green but have black spots on them, they usually aren’t good (I think they’re refrigerated to keep them green or something). And once they turn a little yellow, I don’t like the taste (they’re sortof a neutral starchy taste when green and a banana-apple taste when fully ripe, but in the middle, it’s just weird). The best ones in my experience are very green (rather than a pale green) with not spots on the peels and look sortof plump (hard to explain that, I mean that they don’t look like they’ve been sitting on a shelf for a while and are starting to dry out).

Bill I had the same problem as you. Both times I’ve cooked using a very green plantain (no spots) that was no short on size or thickness, and they taste dry and cardboardy. I was hoping there was something I’m missing, but apparently not. Think I’ll try this recipe again with my super ripe plantains.

Made this with granny smith apples, acorn squash and yellowish plantains as there were no green ones available. Popped them in and cooked them alongside meatballs for dinner. Quick and easy recipe!

I had the same problem as Bill and Kim with the green plantains. They didn’t have any black spots on them, but the “seams” were a little black in places. I was wondering the same thing, that maybe I was doing something wrong. Has anyone tried with super-ripe plantains yet? And I used Cortland apples, which was probably a bad idea, since the apples cooked faster than the squash and plantains and just turned to mush. Overall though, aside from the dry plantains, the flavor was good. 🙂

I also had a problem with my plantains being totally woody. Cooked it at my mother in laws and she kept saying it wasn’t done. By the time we took it out the squash was mush and the plantains in edible. First time I’ve made a recipe of yours that didn’t turn out perfectly! Was the whole dish just overlooked? Id love any suggestions so I can try it again.

Hi Robin, since I had the same problem, I think next time I’m going to try using ripe plantains and Granny Smith apples, and add them into the squash after cooking the squash halfway. It’s hard to find the green plantains as Sarah describes them, so I think just letting them ripen will help. And I don’t mind the banana-like flavor when they’re ripe. Will post again when I try this!

im making this recipe right now and even weighed ingredients to make sure things cooked perfectly. At 350 it’s already been in the oven for an hour and still hard. What did I do wrong?

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