It’s fall time and that means it’s the time for local farmers and grocery stores to roll out a lot of unfamiliar squash that no one knows what to do with them. Many of us don’t even know what most of them are called. It’s even hard to know which ones to cook and which ones are for pure decoration!
I did not grow up eating winter squash, the closest thing we got to it was frying a little zucchini or yellow squash in the summer. The only other thing any remotely familiar to fall squash was eating pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. My mom did make it but used a can. To be totally honest, the pumpkins we carved were the closest I ever got to winter squash as a kid. I probably did not meet one until I was in a college foods class at University of Missouri in Columbia. At that time, I learned that they were rich in beta carotene, vitamin A, C and lots of fiber. When we gave them a try in class, they were pretty darn good!
After my husband and I got married, we looked around at the fall squash and decided to try out some acorn squash. We stuffed them with bread crumbs and chopped vegetables and we enjoyed eating it! It was about 10 or 15 years later before we really tried butternut squash and most of the ways that I found to make it was into a soup. Even though, the soup was delicious, my husband got tired of the sweet curry soup so we came up with a more savory one and we enjoyed during the fall/winter season but we really could only eat it about once a month til we get a little bored and with all that squash lying around all winter, I wanted to find other things to make with it and I wanted to learn the names were of some of the less familiar ones besides butternut and acorn squash.
So I wanted to share some of the things that I learned about them and a few delicious ways that I put together to use them that I hope you might try to include more of these beautiful, delicious vegetables in your diet! And that you increase the amount of times that you eat them this fall and winter while they are plentiful and find some new ways to fix them besides that sweet tasting, butternut squash soup. Not that there is anything wrong with it! So join me on this squash journey…….
Delicious Ways to Use That Winter Squash:
- Peel, chunk it and roast it! (with a little olive oil and salt and pepper)Use for taco, burrito filling, or for pasta sauce with thyme, sage and parmesan cheese. I love adding the chunks to a fall salad and also include it in a mix of fall vegetables to add to the top of a grain pilaf like quinoa or farro. It is so yummy! It is also wonderful in a breakfast or Buddha Bowl!
- Stuff it! However……go beyond the acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash and stuff one that you aren’t as familiar with and learn the name of it and eat it! There are a lot of great ones out there!
- Puree it! Use them in desserts in place of pumpkin or in soups.
- Cook them whole but poke some wholes in it.
- Steam, simmer or stew.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to make Winter Squash (you can change up which squash that you use):
- The blog post below features Delicata Squash & Apple Saute Over Millet, Winter Squash Pot Pie with Cornmeal Crust, Butternut Squash & Poblano Pepper Tacos and Mediterranean Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.
2. The blog post below features Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pears & Goat Cheese and a Southwestern Pumpkin Soup.
3. The blog post below features Kale, Apple & Butternut Squash Saute and Butternut Squash Penne Pasta.
4. The Thanksgiving recipe below: Kouri and Vegetarian Sausage Stuffed Squash.
5. Try this Kale and Butternut Squash Risotto recipe below to get your greens and winter squash.
6. This delicious make-ahead brunch recipe, Butternut Squash, Poblano Pepper & Coconut Chilaquiles below features the best of winter squash!
As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I love sharing recipes to keep people healthier that they will enjoy and explore foods that they will not otherwise try! I am so glad that you stopped by to check out these recipes. Would love to know if you try them or some other ways that you prepare them!
Next month in October a non-profit called Slow Food Asheville will be hosting an event featuring a native, winter squash, check it out below!