Hello! This is GoFresh. How can I help you today?
I would like to order some Winter Squash.
Winter Squash… Winter Squash…. What?
Have you ever heard that term? Apparently, it is a common produce term. Now it is not the name of one particularity type of squash but a variety of squashes that are harvested in the Fall. Also they are classified as fruits, not vegetables, since they have seeds. Many of the winter squashes are beautiful with all the different colors and patterns. If you don’t believe me, do a google image search. Even though they taste wonderful, if you don’t want to ruin it by cutting into them, you can use them as décor also.
A few winter squashes, some I have heard of and some I wonder how they even got their name, are:
- Acorn Squash
- Buttercup Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Banana Squash
- Carnival Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Hubbard Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Kabocha Squash
- Red Kuri Squash
- Blue Hokkaido Squash
- Lakota Squash
- Calabaza Squash
- Sweet Dumpling Squash
These squashes have a lot of nutritional benefits so if you desire to use one of these squashes at another time of year, they can be preserved by freezing, canning, or drying. The University of Minnesota agrees and adds, “Each type exhibits differences in shape, color, size and flavor but all have shells that are hard and more challenging to cut and/or peel – this allows winter squash to have a longer storage life. Squash provides numerous health benefits that may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart and respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis:
- High levels of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A
- Good source of Vitamin C
- Healthy source of fiber
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds
- Polysaccharides that help regulate and/or control blood sugar
Don’t forget to save the seeds that you scoop out of your winter squash! Seeds are a healthy and delicious snack food and can prepared the same way as pumpkin seeds. Squash seeds need to separated from the pulp before baking.
What about Buttercup squash verses Acorn Squash? They can look similar so how do I know which is which and not use the wrong one in my recipe? Dan McKayat Chowhound gives some great pointers.
“Acorn Squash – Well it looks like an acorn (duh). These green squashes with orange flesh are thick-skinned and can be served peeled or sliced (with the skin in tact). Acorn squash is fairly adaptable and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Buttercup Squash – Squat and green, buttercup squashes have a thick, inedible rind with dark yellow flesh. Buttercup squashes have a sweet, nutty flavor and are best used in recipes that involve steaming or baking.”
I love spaghetti with fresh vegetables, garlic, and marinara sauce but Spaghetti squash? Why do they call it that? Does it taste like spaghetti? Emma Christensen can answer this.
“Yes … and also no. Once cooked, the yellow flesh of this squash will separate into long strands that you can, indeed, top with marinara sauce and twirl around your fork. The texture is like angel hair pasta — it’s tender and chewy, but a bit fragile. Now for the ‘…and also no’ news: Even though a miracle of Mother Nature has given this squash some spaghetti-like attributes, it is still a squash. It looks like pasta and has a texture like pasta, but it’s still probably not going to fool anyone. The flavor is very mild (you might even call it bland) with none of that sweet, earthy, squash-like flavor we associate with butternut and acorn squash. This makes spaghetti squash the perfect companion for something like a hearty ragu or a curry — the squash’s flavor won’t compete with the main attraction on the plate — but you still get all that great spaghetti-like texture.”
Thanks Emma! I may have found another way to sneak more fresh vegetables into my children’s diet. YES!!!
Now what else can I make?
Anges Hsu has put together 10 kid friendly recipes at Hello Wonderful
- Squash Pot Stickers
- Squash and Orzo
- Butternut Squash Fries
- Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Cupcakes
- Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale & Quinoa
- Butternut Squash Souffle Bites
- Butternut Squash Bread
- Maple Glazed Roasted Acorn Squash
- Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce
- Spaghetti Squash Fritters
Eat, Live, GoFresh!