Ahh… The smell of roasted squash is a welcome way to greet the cold days of winter. Most winter squashes are harvested in late summer to late fall, and can be stored to be used during the winter months.
They range in size, from small squashes that can be baked for individual servings, to very large squashes that are mostly sold in slices. Some of them have a hard skin that needs to be peeled or discarded and some have a soft edible skin.
When it comes to nutrients, winter squashes are an excellent source of carotenes that help protect our bodies against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. They are also high in fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B1 and potassium. Squashes are a great source of antioxidants and help you build a strong immune system. Including them regularly is a good idea to keep your body healthy and well nourished.
The flesh of winter squashes range from a pale creamy color to a variety of yellows and oranges. The deeper the color, the more nutrients the squash has. They are sweet tasting and many squashes taste nutty, like hazelnuts and chestnuts. The sweet taste of squashes is very satisfying and can help reduce cravings for refined sugar. They can be incorporated in many dessert recipes and baked with cinnamon and nutmeg to satisfy a sweet tooth in a healthy way.
Feel free to use squashes in a variety of ways, they are interchangeable and can replace sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots in many recipes. You can bake them, roast them, steam them, use them for soups, stews and chili, mash them, use them in spices and in a variety of desserts.
The following pumpkin recipes can be made with a variety of other winter squashes:
Green skin, orange flesh, sweet and great for baking and roasting.
Yellowish skin, orange flesh, sweet, great for baking and puréed soups.
Dark green skin, orange flesh, very sweet and creamy, great for mashing, pureeing and desserts.
Cream, orange and green striped skin, yellow flesh, sweet, great baked and mashed.
Yellow and green with stripes, cream color flesh, sweet, nutty and creamy, great for baking and roasting.
Orange skin, orange flesh, sweet tasting, great for baking, soups and desserts.
Blue/gray skin, yellow flesh, sweet, great roasting, sautéing and desserts.
Green skin, orange flesh, sweet and nutty, tastes like chestnuts, great for steaming, baking, roasting and deserts.
Yellow skin, yellow stringy flesh, mild flavor, great for baking and using the flesh as spaghetti substitute with pasta sauce.
Sweet Dumpling Squash
Cream and green speckled striped skin, cream color flesh, mildly sweet, great for baking whole and stuffing as individual servings because of it’s small size.
Multi colored in white green and bright orange skin, golden yellow flesh, sweet and nutty, tastes like hazelnuts, great for baking and desserts.
This super nutritious super delicious curry recipe can be made with any squash: Kabocha, aduki beans and kale curry.
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