Squash Varieties & Recipes

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 4th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/16-lgitc/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Recipes>Classics

Winter squash is available from August through March, and include several varieties. They are good for you and delicious when prepared with simple ingredients and stored properly.

Nutritional Facts & Storing Winter Squash

Farmer’s Markets are ideal for finding the freshest produce available, and their farm fresh country style bins are just bursting with massive varieties of succulent winter squash. They are sometimes round, but often then not they are funny shaped and multi-colored oblong fruits with the skins ranging from green to sunny yellow, or they can be found with white, tan or a vivid pumpkin orange skin, depending of course on the variety. Squash are relatively low in price so stocking up on them for fall and winter recipes is a cinch due to their long shelf life when stored properly in a cool dry location.

Squash is not only delicious when prepared with seasonings, pasta and other vegetables, they have a high nutrient content, and they contribute a colorful addition to any meal and they are simple to cook. The are a hearty fruit, but in the kitchen cooks generally think of them as a vegetable when planning meals as they are used more in savory dishes then sweet due to their distinct intense flavor. However squash are a perfect addition to breads, pies and other desserts because they are available year round and cost less then many other traditional fruits and are generally larger in size giving you more for your money.

Winter squash are available from August through March, and include several varieties from the butternut and pumpkin to the buttercup, acorn, golden nugget, spaghetti and Turban, just to name a few. Winter squash actually grows in the summer and early fall. Southeastern Native American settlers considered squash, beans and corn to be the foundation of their diets, and dubbed these crops “the three sisters.” In fact the Native Americans thought so highly of the beta carotene rich fruit that they buried it with their deceased to continue nourishing them on their final journey.

Roasting Winter Squash: Cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds with a spoon and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Winter Squash Recipes

Roasted Acorn Squash with Potatoes & Garlic

2 large acorn squash peeled, halved, and seeded

4-5 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into bite size

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tablespoon rosemary

Salt & cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Layer the squash, potatoes and garlic into a 9 x 13-inch shallow baking pan. Drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with the rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake 45-50 minutes, turning once after vegetables are browned on one side.

Easy Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash roasted & strands separated

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ to 1/2 cup olive oil

Salt & cracked black pepper to taste

Toss the squash strands gently with the butter, cheese, salt, and pepper.

Cheesy Winter Squash Casserole

1 banana squash peeled & thinly sliced

2 russet potatoes peeled & thinly sliced

1 yellow onion chopped

1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese

1 can cream of chicken soup

3/4 soup can water

Salt & cracked black pepper to taste

In a buttered casserole dish, layer the squash, potatoes and onion. In a separate saucepan, combine chicken soup, cheese and water. Warm up over low heat and heat thoroughly mixing it together. Pour the soup mixture over vegetables. Sprinkle salt & pepper over the top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Hearty & Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

2 large butternut squash peeled, seeded, cut in half, roasted and pureed in a blender

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 teaspoon thyme chopped

1/4 teaspoon sage chopped

Salt & cracked black pepper to taste

¾ to 1 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon parsley on reserve for garnishing

Put the pureed squash, chicken broth, onion, and seasonings in a large stock pot Cover and simmer for 1 hour over medium low heat. Add the heavy cream, and blend well. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes or until smooth. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Roasted Winter Squash Seeds

2 cups of acorn or butternut squash seeds

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the seeds from the raw squash and rinse with water, removing the strings and squash bits. Pat the seeds dry and place them into a bowl.

Gently mix the olive oil, salt and the seeds until evenly coated. Spread them out into an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the seeds for 15-20 minutes, or until the seeds start to pop. Remove them from oven and allow the seeds to cool completely before serving or storing them in an air tight container.

Nutritional Facts: Squash is packed full of complex carbohydrates and is an excellent source of fiber. Winter squash also contains beta carotene, vitamin A, niacin, vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, and vitamin B6.

Winter Squash Varieties: There are 35 different varieties of the hearty fruit available to consumers for eating or decorating for the holidays. One particular variety, the vivid and earthy orange pumpkin is a favorite for Halloween, and is not only used for baking pies, it is customary to fashionably carve the round winter squash and then accent porches and windows throughout autumn by lighting candles and placing them in the interior of the pumpkin so that the light emanates through the hollowed out and craftily carved faces for all to enjoy on All-Hallows-Eve.

Storing Winter Squash: Handle squash gently as to avoid cuts and bruises, and to eliminate any entrances for mold producing bacteria. Cut the squash from the vine with pruning shears making sure to leave a 4-inch stem on pumpkins and a 1-inch stem on winter squash. Place them in a single layer in a cool dark storage space for u to 3 months

Tags

Acorn, All-Hallows Eve, Autumn, Beta Carotene, Buttercup, Butternut, Cheddar Cheese, Chicken Broth, Copper, Diet, Fiber, Fruit, Garlic, Golden Nugget, Halloween, Heavy Cream, Iron, Native Americans, Nutritional, Omega 3, Parmesan Cheese, Pies, Potassium, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Roasting, Rosemary, Spaghetti, Squash, Turban, Variety, Vitamin A

Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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Comments

author avatar Margaret Michel
5th Aug 2014 (#)

I love spaghetti squash. Thanks for the recipes!

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
5th Aug 2014 (#)

Sherri, excellent article. I love squash. Thanks for sharing this article because I learned something new. I didn't know that squash was actually a fruit. I thought it was a vegetable.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Pictures, please. And sections.

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author avatar writestuff
2nd Nov 2014 (#)

Informative article. Thanks for the recipes.

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