Enjoy Winter Squash

Does your family enjoy winter squash? Winter squash provides many interesting tastes and textures, and can be used in a variety of recipes during the fall and winter months.  Butternut, acorn, spaghetti, turban, and our beloved pumpkin, are just a few that can be found in the grocery stores and at the farmers’ markets.

These hard-skinned vegetables come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. Many have sweet and rich flavors that can be substituted for one another in recipes. While some, like spaghetti squash, have a distinct taste and texture.  These vegetables are packed with Vitamins A and C, and are great sources of fiber. Use them in main and side dishes, as well as desserts.
The first task when using any squash is cutting it open. You will need a hefty knife or cleaver to cut off the stem. Then with the knife lengthwise, insert it into the squash until it breaks open. Use caution here as the rind can be very hard and difficult to cut. Another tip for opening the squash is to poke holes in the skin in several places using a fork, microwave on high for several minutes until you can cut it with a knife. Once you have it open, spoon out the seeds and the pulp. Save the cleaned seeds and roast them for a healthy snack. The flesh of the squash is now ready to be boiled, baked, roasted, simmered, steamed, microwaved or sautéed. Need ideas for using winter squash, visit our Eat Smart Website for easy recipes.

 Try these quick and tasty meal suggestions:

Make a meal using an acorn squash. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the pulp. Fill it with your favorite vegetables: sliced mushrooms, spinach, chopped celery and carrots, then bake. For a          sweeter filling, fill with chopped apples and sliced almonds. Bake at 350⁰ for 30 minutes.
 If you enjoy soup, try a warm butternut squash soup. In a pot, sauté cubed butternut squash with chopped celery and carrots. Add low sodium vegetable broth and simmer until tender. Leave chunky or puree in a blender. Soups are easy to store and reheat for later, so make enough for leftovers!  


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