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6 Ways to Enjoy Winter Squash

Posted Oct 27 2010 7:17pm

Photo by Mexicanwave

I hate the chilly wind that slaps against my face whenever I’m outside. Each wave of strong wind that blows against me reminds me that the summer sunshine is gone and the days are getting progressively shorter. I simply dislike the cold.

But despite every little detail that I hate about the cold weather, there is one thing that I look forward to…all the sweet and delicious winter produce that are now in season. Winter squash, sweet potatoes and many others.

And I must say, I absolutely LOVE winter squash! They are not only a nutrition powerhouse, packed with nutrients such as vitamin A and fiber, but they are also so full of deliciousness.

When shopping for squash, choose one with no blemished skin, a matte texture and make sure that it feels heavy for its size. Don’t worry about buying too many at once because they can last for a very long time when placed in a cool, shaded area (I like to keep mine in the same bin with the potatoes).

With so many varieties of squash popping up in every corner of grocery stores, be sure to pick out a few different types and try out these various cooking methods to truly explore and appreciate their rich flavours. Enjoy!

Instead of serving regular mashed potatoes as a side, try some mashed Kabocha squash. It already has a very unique sweet flavour that stands quite well on its own, but nuttiness of the peanut butter will bring more depth and elevate its flavour to the next level.

The flesh of a cooked spaghetti squash pulls apart easily into many long strands, which makes it an ideal low-carb substitute for pasta. With only 42 calories and 2 grams of fiber per cup, this faux noodles will fill you up pretty good.

Small-sized squash are perfect for stuffing as they tend take less time to bake until tender. Use whatever ingredients you have on hand to make the filling. Make sure to mix in some protein and grains to transform this into a balanced, hearty, one-pot meal.

Simply clean and cut squash into wedges and follow the same method used in making sweet potato coins. Roasting is an extremely easy technique that will concentrate the sweetness of the winter squash and really let its natural flavours shine through.  Enjoy roasted squash hot out of the oven as a hearty side dish, and remember to save some for later to put into salads, soups or even as a quick energy-boosting snack in the middle of the day.

Winter squash are starchy, so they will add creaminess to a soup when blended, saving you the need to use cream.

Like bananas and zucchinis, winter squash can be pureed and used to make moist, lower-fat and lower calorie quick breads. They will not only provide sweetness, but also add moisture to keep the quick bread tender, thus reducing the amount of sugar and fat needed.

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