Carb-free Butternut Squash Salad “Sqoutons”

The Hormone Reset Diet Recipe|Carbohydrates|Sara Gottfried MD

I hate to tell you bread lovers, but carbohydrates or “carbs” are not essential to survival. The foods that are necessary are healthy fats (such as omega-3s) and clean proteins, which contain certain vital amino acids. But you would survive without carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean that you need to remove carbohydrates completely. Severe restriction can actually raise your reverse T3, a metabolic hormone that blocks your thyroid receptor. Severe carb restriction may also raise stress hormones, such as cortisol. Instead, you should be like Switzerland: in a
neutral zone, where you eat enough carbs to prevent problems with your thyroid and cortisol, but not so many that you store more fat, which some call the “carb threshold.”

Giving up carbs is probably one of the toughest parts of THE HORMONE RESET DIET, which is why I created this recipe for those moments when you want a little bit of crispy carby goodness on top of your salad. Sprinkle a handful of these “croutons” warm over shredded kale and lettuce with sliced red onion and a red wine vinaigrette. Yum! Who needs bread?


Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 butternut squash
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

  1. Peel butternut squash and remove seeds.
  2. Dice into ½- inch square pieces.
  3. Toss in a large bowl with oil and spices until each piece is well coated.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange squash in a single layer with plenty of room between each small piece.
  5. Bake at 475°F or 250°C for 15 minutes.
  6. Flip croutons over using a spatula and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and tender on the inside.
  7. Sprinkle over your favorite salad.