Winter Squash

Unlike summer squash, the different types of winter squash are picked in the fall. Winter squash come in many shapes ranging from round to acorn-shaped or pear-shaped. Even within the same varieties, it is hard to find two winter squash look exactly the same! Winter squash can also have a wide variety of skin colors, like cream, green, yellow or orange. The inside is normally golden-yellow or orange. This adds a beautiful color to dishes! The most popular types of winter squash are acorn, butternut, Hubbard, kabocha, spaghetti, sweet dumpling, and Turk's Turban. You can find many types of winter squash in supermarkets or farmers’ markets.

Winter squash are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The types of winter squash that are orange inside are an excellent source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, good vision, and bone health.

Regardless of which type, select winter squash that are heavy for their size and are unbruised. Store them in a cool, dry place and they can be kept up to six months. Do not refrigerate the squash before cutting or cooking it because they can absorb water and rot easily. Unlike summer squash or zucchini, the skin of winter squash needs to be removed before cooking or eating. Use a knife or vegetable peeler to remove the skin of the squash. Then cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. For a healthy snack, you can clean the seeds and then bake them on a cookie sheet lined with foil for about 45 minutes (or until golden brown) at 250°F. You can also try using soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder or other seasonings you like.

Winter squash can be used in sweet or savory dishes. They go well with a wide spectrum of seasonings and can be incorporated in soups, casseroles, rice, lasagna, and desserts. For example, butternut squash can be baked, mashed, pureed, steamed, simmered, or stuffed. Be creative and try different varieties of winter squash! They can often be substituted for each other in recipes. Check out these tasty winter squash recipes:


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