Your Ultimate Guide to Winter Squash

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When the times develop shorter and the onset of winter turns into unavoidable, many individuals mourn the lack of vibrant vegetables and fruit from their summer season backyard or market. But look extra intently and also you’ll quickly uncover a bountiful supply of goodness within the type of winter squash! Much extra than simply its finest identified member — the pumpkin — this nutrient-rich household is on the market from early autumn by winter and is available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and hues.

Formally named the Curcurbitaceae household, all winter squash share some frequent traits. They all have:

  • exhausting shells that may be tough to pierce, which accounts for his or her longer shelf life (some lasting as much as six months)
  • an internal hole containing seeds
  • flesh, which, no matter selection, tends to have a mildly candy flavour and nice texture

Culinary Nutrition Benefits of Winter Squash

Nutritionally, winter squash are exceptionally wealthy in:

All this goodness, plus they’re scrumptious!

If you’ve been passing winter squashes by since you’re simply undecided what to do with them, right here’s a information that will help you see all of the methods these versatile beauties could make your desk shine, plus a Moroccan-inspired recipe. And when you’re searching for much more methods to make use of them, take a look at these prime 24 winter squash recipes.


Culinary Nutrition Guide to Winter Squash

Acorn

Shaped like its namesake, the acorn. Mild in flavour, select one with extra darkish inexperienced than orange in its shell for extra tender flesh. Best roasted or stuffed.

Butternut

Pale orange and formed like an elongated pear, this squash is without doubt one of the extra frequent varieties. They have a easy, inedible rind that may be minimize or peeled off. Extremely versatile, they’re scrumptious in soups, chilis, stews and salads – however can even be utilized in muffins.

Butternut Squash

Photo: Butternut Squash

Blue Hubbard

These greenish-blue squash are a brand new number of their a lot bigger, bumpy ancestors. They have a candy orange flesh, nice in candy or savoury recipes.

Buttercup

Compact and inexperienced, with lighter inexperienced variegated stripes, these have a pronounced bump, or ‘turban’ on their bottoms. When freshly minimize, they scent and seem nearly like cucumber, however cooking turns the mild-flavoured flesh drier and denser. Well suited to purées, soups and curries.

Kabocha

This Asian selection, typically known as Japanese pumpkin, is spherical and inexperienced (much like buttercup however with out the stripes). It has a candy, nutty flavour that shines in soups or stews, or just roasted with both candy or savoury spices.

Kabocha Winter Squash

Photo: Kabocha Squash

Red Kuri

This lopsided, reddish orange squash has a style much like chestnuts. Its smaller measurement and considerably softer rind makes it simpler to work with. Great roasted or in soups.

Spaghetti Squash

As its title implies, this squash has a singular flesh that, when shredded with a fork, resembles strings of pasta. Try it along with your favorite marinara sauce and a few sautéed greens!

Delicata

This winter squash is rectangular, cream with inexperienced stripes, and has a smooth, edible rind that makes it simpler to arrange. It could be minimize into rings or sliced lengthwise and stuffed, as within the recipe under. It additionally makes nice fries. Its softer shell makes it extra inclined to spoiling, so it’s finest ready inside three weeks of buy.

Delicata Winter Squash

Photo, Delicata Squash. Image: iStock/TonyLMoorePhoto

Storing Winter Squash

Whole winter squash are finest saved in a cool, darkish, dry place. A pantry or cabinet are very best, or a root cellar if in case you have one. Don’t wash your squash earlier than storage.

Once your squash are peeled and chopped, or meal prepped, retailer them within the fridge or freezer.

Learn extra about one of the best methods to retailer produce right here.

Save The Seeds!

Lessen your meals waste by saving your squash seeds for a tasty, protein-rich snack. Scoop out the seeds, take away any membranes or stringy elements, rinse after which dehydrate, or roast within the oven.


Moroccan-Inspired Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe

Developed for an anti-inflammatory eating regimen, this dish delivers not solely the advantages of winter squash famous above, but in addition boasts the next:

Cauliflower:  Loaded with vitamin C, cauliflower is a sulfur-rich vegetable that helps our our bodies detoxify. This is related for anybody with an autoimmune illness since most have compromised cleansing programs. It additionally incorporates glucobrassicin, which works on a genetic stage to show off inflammatory responses.

Shallots/Garlic: Like different members of the allium household, shallots and garlic ship essential anti-inflammatory benefits. Onionin A—a singular sulfur molecule discovered within the bulb portion of the plant—has been proven to inhibit the exercise of macrophages, specialised white blood cells that play a key function in our physique’s immune defence system. While macrophage exercise is often a very good factor, inhibition of their exercise can typically be vital in getting continual irritation beneath management.

Kale: With over 45 completely different flavonoids, together with kaempferol and quercetin, kale is a strong supply of each antioxidant and anti inflammatory advantages. Kale can also be an enormous supply of vitamin Ok, a key nutrient for regulating the physique’s inflammatory course of. (You can discover ways to use extra darkish leafy greens right here.)

Cranberries: The antioxidants in cranberries, even when dried, are particularly efficient in reducing the chance of undesirable irritation.

Pistachios: Nuts are among the many meals highest in anti-inflammatory advantages.

This recipe’s Moroccan aptitude comes from a spice mix known as Ras el Hanout. While it may be discovered in lots of markets, it’s also possible to make your individual mix from spices you could have already got readily available. The title roughly interprets to ‘head of shop’ and refers to the truth that, historically, this mix is customized by the spice supplier at your favorite Arab market. It could be made with as many as 50 spices, however my interpretation doesn’t require almost as many. Note that this provides you with about one cup of spices. It makes a pleasant addition to soups, stews, or roasted greens. However, the recipe can simply be halved if much less is desired.

Print

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For the stuffed squash:

  • 2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and de-seeded
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped into small florets
  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Ras el Hanout (recipe supplied under if you wish to make your individual)
  • 2 cups kale, ribs eliminated and sliced into ribbons
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp uncooked natural honey

For the Ras el Hanout

  • 2 tsp floor ginger
  • 2 tsp floor cardamon
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp floor mace
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp floor allspice
  • 1 tsp floor coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp floor nutmeg
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp floor cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp floor anise seeds
  • 1/4 tsp floor cloves


  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. If you’re going to make the spice combine, stir the entire spices collectively. Store in an hermetic container.
  3. Using your palms, coat squash in and out with oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, minimize aspect up. Sprinkle within squash with cinnamon.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, till barely golden and fork tender.
  5. Meanwhile, pulse cauliflower in meals processor, till it seems to be like grains of couscous. Set apart.
  6. Melt 1 ½ tbsp oil or ghee in massive skillet over medium warmth. Sauté onions and garlic till translucent (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add spices and stir till properly blended. Add the cauliflower and stir to evenly coat with spices.
  8. Mix in kale, cranberries and nuts, and cook dinner for about 2 minutes. You could wish to add somewhat water at this level (about 1/4 cup, added somewhat at a time). Cook for about 5 minutes, till kale is simply wilted.
  9. Remove from warmth and add sea salt, orange juice and honey.
  10. Remove squash from oven, and fill with stuffing. Lower oven temp to 350˚F.
  11. Place the tray of stuffed squash to bake within the oven for about 10 minutes.
  12. Besseha! (Enjoy!)
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish

Header picture: iStock/sarasang

* Note: This put up’s unique creator, Nancy Williams, was a Culinary Nutrition Expert and a vibrant and well-loved member of our neighborhood. Up till her well being started to problem in additional critical methods in 2019, she was an energetic cheerleader and supply of help in our non-public scholar and alumni group.

She had a heat that radiated and was a kind of individuals who stayed in your coronary heart. She beloved dwell music reveals and most of all, being in her kitchen creating. Nancy handed away in August 2020 and she or he is deeply missed. 

In 2021, we established the Nancy Williams Memorial Scholarship to honour her unimaginable legacy and dedication to giving again. 

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