Ingredient Profile: Get Your Squash On
Health Benefits of Squash
The colorful flesh of squash means its rich in carotenes which helps protect against many kinds of cancer, particularly lung cancer. Most winter squash are also rich in vitamins C, B1, B6 and folic acid. Squash often contain healthy doses of niacin as well.
According to Nutrition Data, 1 cup of winter squash cooked or baked without salt contains 82 calories, 0 g fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 8 mg sodium and 2 g protein.
"Choose squash that are firm and fairly heavy for their size, otherwise they
may be dry and cottony inside. Look for squash that have bright, glossy
exteriors. Avoid buying squash that have nicks or bruises on their skins or
ones that have soft spots." - Zhion.com
Varieties of Squash
From acorn to butternut, squash comes in all sorts of winter species that find their way into our cuisine.
One of the smaller squash species, this round, acorn-shaped squash is typically both green and orange in its exterior. It's skin has longitudinal ridges and its flesh is orange (and known for being very sweet!) Bake it up in a casserole or puree it for some delicious acorn squash soup!
Acorn Squash Recipes:
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apple Couscous
Baked Acorn Squash with Caramelized Apples, Pecans and Onions
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
Roasted Acorn Squash and Pear Bisque with Chorizo and Fried Squash Chips
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Marked by a tall neck and a pear-like shape, the butternut squash is perhaps the most popular type of squash (next to the pumpkin). It's versatile flesh is great for making soups, pies, breads, and even risotto! Add it to stir frys, stews and more to warm you up in these cold months.
Butternut Squash Recipes:
Find more here: The Best Butternut Squash Recipes!
With a stringy flesh, this squash type is green on the outside but resembles spaghetti on the inside. Soft and yellow in color, the flesh can be used to emulate noodles in certain dishes and preparations.
Spaghetti Squash Recipes:
Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Herbs
Spaghetti Squash and Vegetables Gratin
Cozy Spaghetti Squash with Cannelini Beans
Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella
Spicy Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Skillet
Pumpkin is perhaps the most popular form of squash that some think it has its own category and it's not really a squash. However, this round orange squash with a large stem in the center is indeed a squash. It can come in many different sizes from tiny decorative pumpkins to large edible pumpkins that are used to make pumpkin puree. From pies to stews, pumpkin puree is versatile too!
More Winter Squash
Other popular winter squash include Hubbard, buttercup and ambercup squash. Check out how you can utilize these tasty veggies!