Guest Blogger: Carrie Edwards, Wellness Coordinator

Winter Squash is the name given to a family of vegetables from the genus Cucurbita that are grown in the summer, harvested in the fall and are sturdy enough to last the whole winter in a chilly cellar. Summer squash such as zucchini have a much shorter shelf life and softer rind.

While pumpkin and butternut squash are the famous representatives of the winter squash family, there are many other varieties that you can find in your supermarket or farmer’s markets (those that are still open). Growing in popularity in recent years is the spaghetti squash, whose stringy texture has made it a favorite of low-carbers substituting it for pasta.

No matter which varietal you choose, winter squash is highly versatile and can be used in recipes for soup, stews, pasta dishes, side dishes, and more. The flavors of the various winter squashes is mild to sweet, which means you can use them to cook savory, spicy, or sweet dishes.

From a nutrition perspective, winter squash is low in calories yet rich in vitamin A, C, B6, and more. A 3-ounce serving of squash has only 30 calories!

For a quick treat, halve a butternut squash and remove the seeds. Drizzle some olive oil on the flesh and bake on high heat for 25-30 minutes.  Detailed recipe below….

 

 

Winter Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)

Tools

  • Chef’s knife (not a must, see below)
  • Spoon – for scraping out the seeds
  • Baking dish and cover
  • Basting brush (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to high (400 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Wash the butternut squash and dry it off.
  3. Carefully halve it with your chef’s knife. If it is too scary, or too difficult, you can microwave the squash on high heat for 5 minutes to soften it up, then try again and use a smaller knife.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop and scrape out the seeds.
  5. Place the two halves in the baking dish
  6. Drizzle olive oil on each half. Use the basting brush (or your finger) to evenly spread the oil.
  7. Sprinkle salt and sugar on top.
  8. Cover baking dish and place in oven.
  9. Come back in 25 minutes. Remove cover and turn heat setting to roast (or 450 degrees).
  10. Come back in 3 minutes and remove from oven.

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