What if I told you there were more winter squash than just pumpkin? Shocking I know! Pumpkin gets all of the love these days, but all of the winter types are worthy of a featured place on your table.
The vivid orange flesh of many winter squash varieties is due to their high concentration of carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene. This is great for eye-health and, combined with the vitamin C that winter squash are loaded with, provides essential antioxidants that help prevent a whole host of health issues.
Winter Squash also have a good amount of folate, which is vital for all of us, but particularly pregnant women to prevent birth defects.
A single 1 cup serving of winter squash can provide 25% of your daily recommended fiber.
Check out this post from What’s Cooking America for an explanation of the different types of squash and their uses.
Winter Squash Serving Suggestions
You can use most winter squash interchangeably in most recipes with a few exceptions. For example, the cavity in butternut squash is a bit too small for stuffing. So, the next time you see yet another pumpkin recipe, know that you can probably use Hubbard or Acorn squash just as well.
Roast and cube any of the squash and eat it as is or add to a salad. For spaghetti squash, once roasted you can drag a fork against the grain to create pasta-like strands.
Cut large cavity squash in half, scoop out the seeds and stuff it before roasting.
That tiny cavity in butternut squash makes it great for slicing thin and using as a base in these appetizers.
All of the squash types are great in soup, stews, and chili. A few ideas:
- Vegan Chorizo Sausage and Squash Gumbo
- Coconut Butternut Squash Soup
- Radish, Beet and Squash Stew
- Slow Cooker Squash Chili
- Roasted Butternut Squash Gnocchi – Homemade Pasta
And they are also delicious as the featured ingredient of your side dishes
In case you are wondering, yes you can toast up any of the squash seeds for snacking just like you would pumpkin seeds.
Get creative this fall and winter and add plenty of winter squash to your meals for a health boost your entire family will love.
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