Squash often gets a bad rap. Perhaps its name is partially responsible. If we called it something like “winter savory” it would sound a little more eloquent and enticing. The truth is, according to Prevention Magazine’s Nutrition Advisor, squash is high in vitamins, low in calories and packs plenty of fiber; plus it’s not real expensive. Awaken your taste buds by trying one variety of winter squash each month from now till spring. You won’t be disappointed.
Acorn squash is a relative of pumpkins, but somewhat sweeter. The fruit is small with dark green and an appealing orange flesh. Acorn squash can be cut in half, seeds removed, brushed inside and out with olive oil and baked in a baking dish, flesh up, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with salt and pepper or butter and cinnamon. Acorn squash have a significant source of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium with a trace of fat.
This winter squash variety has a flat, tan color with an orange flesh that’s mild and sweet. Butternut squash is popular in soups, stews, casseroles and as a side dish. It can be roasted, sautéed, stewed or baked. Butternut squash is a good source of Vitamins A and C.
Delicata squash is just delectable! Bake this wonderful squash like a baked potato and when done top with butter, cinnamon, honey or a sprinkle of brown sugar. This squash can be used in casseroles and other dishes as you would sweet potatoes.
This squash is a keeper. In that we mean when purchased fresh, it will keep for up to six months. Hubbard squash is a good source of fiber and contains lots of Vitamins A and C. A member of the cucumber and watermelon family, Hubbard squash has a solid rind and may require prying to open where it can be cubed and steamed, baked or cooked in the microwave. Once cooked, Hubbard squash should be eaten within a few days before spoiling occurs.
Spaghetti squash is an oval fruit that when cut in half, the inside flesh resembles spaghetti. The fruit can be cut in half and baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes, remove from the oven and cut the ‘spaghetti’ away from the inside of the shell and serve with your favorite sauce or mixed vegetables. Some people like to use it in casseroles or cold salads. Unlike real spaghetti, spaghetti squash doesn’t contain any fat, calories or sodium. It’s somewhat bland like regular pasta which makes it the ultimate replacement for those who are calorie conscious or with wheat allergies.
Sources: Whole Foods Market; Prevention Magazine’s Nutrition Advisor by Mark Bricklin