Fall and winter bring the onset of winter squash. At my grocery store, I am starting to see all sorts of weird, bumpy squashes for sale. My CSA has been full of them too!
I have 3 acorn squash and one spaghetti squash sitting on my kitchen counter. The great thing about winter squash, however, is that they last a long time, so I don't have to rush and figure out what I am making with them!
When eating Real Food, it is important to eat as wide a variety of vegetables as you can. Winter squash are a great addition to a real food diet.
Do you like winter squash? Do you know why you should be adding it to your diet?
Interesting facts about acorn squash:
1. Winter squash come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Acorn squash is named for its acorn-like shape and comes in a variety of colors – dark green, tan, yellow and orange. Whereas butternut squash is creamy tan in skin color and shaped more like an hour glass. Some squashes are bumpy and lumpy, others are smooth. Some are variegated in color. Others have a more consistent color. It is fun to try strange and different looking squash in the kitchen.
2. There are many different types of winter squash. The term ‘winter squash' dates back to a time before refrigerators when squash harvested in the fall were known as winter vegetables because they could last through the winter months.
3. Varieties of winter squash include: delicata, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti, turban, calabaza, kabocha, and pumpkin.
4. Uncut squash can be stored in a cool, dark spot for several months.
5. Once winter squash has been cut, it will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
6. Winter squashes vary in their nutritional value but generally are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin, magnesium and iron. They are also a good source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits.
7. Winter squash can be very helpful in regulating blood sugar.
8. Steaming and roasting are great ways to cook winter squash. I rarely branch out in my squash cooking techniques. Roasting squash is a common event in my fall kitchen!
9. Don’t forget the seeds! The seeds in most winter squashes are much like those of pumpkins. They are delicious roasted with a little salt and organic butter, coconut oil or olive oil.
10. Always put a little organic butter, olive oil or coconut oil on your squash. The fat helps you absorb the vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin A.
11. Winter squash are sweet vegetables. Adding a sweet vegetable to your diet, particularly in the afternoons, can help curb your sugar cravings!
12. Winter squash can be juiced. I particularly like juiced squash mixed with carrot, ginger and apple. Delicious!
13. Cooked squash puree can be added to smoothies, soups, stews, even pancake mix!
When I decided to write this post, I put a shout out to my Village Green Network bloggers asking for their best squash recipes! As always, they came through. Check out these amazing Real Food squash recipes!
Curried Apple-Butternut Squash Soup from the Darling Bakers
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Small Footprint Family
Butternut Squash Soup from the Nourished Caveman
Spiced Apple Butternut Squash from Gutsy by Nature
Kabocha Squash Soup from Honey Ghee and Me
Buttercup Squash Soup from Five Little Homesteaders
Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Bites from Holistically Engineered
Creamy Mayan Hot Chocolate from Learning and Yearning
Raw Spiced Butternut Squash Smoothie from Green Thickies
Paleo Beef Massaman Curry from Fresh Planet Flavor (Paleo)
Cinnamon Beef Stew with Butternut Squash and Mushrooms from Gutsy by Nature
Italian Pork Stuffed Squash from Happy Health Nut
Stuffed Winter Squash from Gutsy by Nature
Winter Squash Pie from Learning and Yearning
Raw Butternut Squash Cookies from Small Footprint Family
Butternut Squash Pie from On Just a Few Small Acres
Acorn Squash Custard from Its a Love/Love Thing
General Squash Tips:
Quick Tip for Gutting a Pumpkin from Healing For Real
Spaghetti Squash the Anti Pasta from Healing For Real
How to Store Your Winter Squash from Five Little Homesteaders
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash from It's a Love Love Thing
How to Puree a Pumpkin from the Crunchy Moose
How to Roast Pumpkin and Squash Seeds from It's a Love/Love Thing