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Vitamin A The Natural Way

By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Posted On Nov 10, 2020
Vitamin A The Natural Way

Colorful gourds and squashes, those late-autumn musts, are surprisingly nutritious. One cup of squash delivers a healthy dose of fiber and vitamin A… all the better to see on a dark winter’s night. And when hunger strikes, try my quick and easy gluten free butternut squash bread recipe below. Friends and foes will come back for more.
By Ruchel Louis Coetzee

Bottle Gourd
Also known as calabash gourd, this light-green, long-necked vine fruit can be prepared in a similar manner to squash. Its firm-textured flesh has a delicate, nutty flavor and is an excellent addition to curry vegetable stew.

Carnival Squash

While the variegated orange and green patterns in the furrowed folds of carnival squash offer a festive splash to winter décor, they are just as good for dinner. This squash’s rich, buttery flavor emerges when cooked.


Fairytale Pumpkin

At the stroke of midnight, Cinderella’s stagecoach turns into a decorative, deeply lobed pumpkin with an orange-brown rind. The rich, orange flesh is sweet and tender, making it a nice choice for traditional pumpkin pie.

Hubbard Squash

Old Mother Hubbard had plenty to say about this delightful squash. They are hard to overlook in the yard, after all, with their large, teardrop shape and gray-blue hue. The longer you store them, the sweeter they become, so don’t toss them after they tire of sitting on the porch.

Red Kuri Squash

This deep-scarlet squash, with its hard outer shell and chestnut-like flavor, packs plenty of beta-carotene. Red kuri is also an excellent choice for various soups and homemade bread. Meanwhile, the hard shell is a unique receptacle for chili con carne.


GLUTEN-FREE BUTTERNUT CRANBERRY BREAD 374x316_pumpkin-bread-cranberry-square

This is a version of my very easy South African health bread that I have been making for decades to rave reviews. There is no yeast involved so the preparation time is much shorter if you have left over cooked butternut squash. If not, set your oven to 350F/180C, place a whole butternut squash in a shallow dish of water and bake until soft (about an hour/ hour and a half).  This bread is deliciously moist, gluten free, and filled with nutritional wholesomeness. Butternut squash is rich in fiber, vitamins C, A, and E; magnesium, and potassium. So set your oven to 350F/180C and get ready to serve this at your Thanksgiving table with some Amish butter.




1 cup Red Mill gluten free flour

1 ½ cups oat flour

1 tsp salt

¼ cup flaxseed

1 cup walnuts

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 tbsp honey

1 ½ cups cooked butternut squash

250 ml plain Greek yoghurt or kefir

1 heaping tsp bicarbonate of soda




Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl – a wooden spoon or spatula can be used to mix. In a separate small bowl, mix bicarbonate soda into the Greek yoghurt and then add it to the dry ingredients. Finally, add the cooked butternut into the mixture. If the dough is still a little dry, add a little water. Place into a greased loaf pan and bake in oven for about an hour or until a knife slides through clean but a little sticky.