As we enter into the month of November and gear up for the holidays, Angela Farris helps familiarize us with the many types of squash as well as giving us tips on how to prepare. Enjoy!
Squash is not only colorful, it’s tasty! Winter squash varietals come in various shapes and sizes but share similar characteristics. Winter squash tends to have a hard outer shell that encloses a vibrant flesh that can boast many vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C & E, beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese and potassium.
A quick, easy way to prepare your squash is to oven bake it. Preheat your oven to 350°. Scrub the outside of your squash thoroughly, cut in half length wise (Beware! squash can be difficult to cut due to its size and firmness. Take extra precautions and find a firm grip before slicing), remove the seeds and place face down in a roasting pan. Add half an inch of water in the bottom of the pan to provide moisture. Depending on size, bake between 1 – 2 hrs or until flesh is tender to the touch at the thickest part. Scoop flesh out of squash and season with fresh herbs and spices. Squash is a visually appealing taste treat for everyone in your family to enjoy! Find a few common squash varietals and some fun spice pairing suggestions below:
Acorn Squash: Named after it’s round, small, acorn-like shape, the flesh of an acorn squash has a mildly sweet flavor. Cutting the acorn in half provides decorative scalloped bowl shape. Varieties include a dark green or golden yellow skin. Spice pairing: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove
Butternut Squash: A common squash used in soup making due to its non-stringy texture and rich flavor, butternut squash is easily found in supermarkets. It tastes similar to sweet potatoes and is usually a deep colored orange flesh. Spices pairing: rosemary, sage, thyme
Delicata Squash: This squash is a lesser-known variety that has a thin, edible skin, creamy texture, and flavor similar to sweet potato mixed with corn. Spice pairing: nutmeg, cardamom, all spice
Spaghetti Squash: With a mild nut like flavor and great spaghetti noodle-like texture, spaghetti squash has become a popular variety. This squash can replace wheat noodles and is a great gluten-free substitute for those with allergies. Spice pairing: cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika
Squash from left to right: (top) Butternut, Acorn- orange, Spaghetti, (middle) Acorn- green, Acorn- golden, (bottom) Carnival, Delicata