Vegan Butternut Risotto

vegan butternut risotto
More and more, scientists and researchers are beginning to unravel the mysteries of our guts – and just how important they are to our wellbeing.
From boosting our mood to easing digestive woes and helping to strengthen the immune system, keeping our gut happy and healthy is important for all kinds of reasons.
It’s a topic which I find endlessly fascinating and which always gets me excited (for instance, did you know that 90% of feel-good serotonin is produced in the gut? That trillions of bacteria live inside us?!), so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered The Original FX Mayr, a hotel which puts gut health at the heart of its mission.
Based in Austria, the hotel aims to ‘put a lightness’ back into your gut, thanks to a team of doctors and specialist therapists. They offer a completely holistic package for guests – think medical treatment, nutrition, exercise and awareness training – and it looks absolutely beautiful, too!
However, if you’re not able to jet off to Austria anytime soon, they also have an online shop which focuses on the best natural ingredients to keep you healthy all year-long. These include vitamins, such as Magnesium Citrate (perfect for anyone who suffers with constipation), coconut oil for oil pulling (an Ayurvedic technique believed to help detoxify and support the immune system), and Milk Thistle (great for supporting the liver – and particularly helpful for anyone sugaring from PMS!), as well as herbs, spices and cupboard essentials, such as gluten-free buckwheat flour.
I tried the Mediterranean Spice Set (gifted item), which included a seasoning for fish (which I’ve been using in vegan dishes!), a Mediterranean herb blend – which I used in the Butternut Risotto below – and a beautiful sprinkling of colourful Alpine herbs, which makes the perfect decor for cakes and bakes.

Want to give it a go, too? Here’s the Butternut Risotto recipe for you to try at home!

Sam x

Vegan Butternut Risotto

Ingredients:

  • Serves 2-4 (two in our greedy household!)
  • For the squash:
  • One large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Pinch coconut sugar
  • Small handful sage, finely chopped
    For the risotto:
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter – I use Naturli, which is made using a blend of almond, shea and other natural fats
  • One peeled onion or leek, chopped finely
  • Three cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp seasoning (optional – I used the Original FX Mayr Soup Up Seasoning)
  • 250g Biona wholegrain risotto rice (soaked in water overnight)
  • 750ml good quality vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 6-7 tbsp squash / pumpkin puree – if not using your roasted squash to make your own
  • 1 tbsp more butter
    To serve:
  • Extra sage. I like to serve mine with crispy tofu too, for protein!

Method:

    1. Start by roasting your squash. Preheat oven to 220C, then line a large tray. Lightly drizzle your chopped squash with olive oil, then sprinkle over salt, pepper, a pinch of coconut sugar and the chopped sage. Place in the oven to roast for 30 minutes, or until lightly caramelised and softened. Set aside – if the sage isn’t too crisp, stir into the risotto once nearly cooked.
    2. In the meantime, get started on your risotto! Heat the butter in a pan until melted, then gently fry the onions or leeks until softened (time depends on which one you’re cooking!). Add in the garlic and heat until lightly coloured. Stir through your soaked and drained risotto rice, tossing it to completely coat in the buttery onion mix.
    3. Pour in 500ml of your stock, then cover the pan and allow to simmer, stirring often. Add a ladleful of the extra stock as the risotto needs it (feel free to add a splash more beyond the 750ml if you would prefer or it needed), cooking until the risotto is creamy and cooked through / softened – this takes around 40-45 minutes. Please note that I haven’t tested these quantities or times on other risotto rice – other varieties may differ, particularly if not wholegrain!
    4. In the meantime, puree half of your cooked butternut squash in a blender with a small splash of vegetable stock (alternatively, you can use shop-bought and unsweetened tinned pumpkin puree!). Stir 6-7 tbsp (to taste) through the risotto, then stir in the Nutritional Yeast to taste, the Nutmeg and the extra butter. Season to taste.
    5. Before serving, fry up your extra sage in a small drizzle of oil until crisp, then stir through the risotto, reserving some more to sprinkle on top. Serve topped with the extra caramelised butternut, as well as crispy tofu.

Author: Sam

I'm a freelance health, food and fitness journalist, busy mama and recipe creator!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *