- Originated in Mexico & Central America
- Main crop among Native Americans. They would eat the flowers, flesh and seeds of the plants and would even use them as containers and utensils
Varieties: check out the page Comparing Winter Squash to see all the differences
- All types are yellow or orange inside
- Vary from small sizes of 1 to 2 pounds up to more than 20 pounds
- The outside texture can be bumpy or smooth
- Various outside hues from red and yellow to green and blue.
- All expect spaghetti squash are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber
- The seeds can be roasted or dried for a snack and are a good source of protein & magnesium plus other nutrients
Nutrition Information (1/2 cup, cooked):
- Calories: 40
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbohydrate: 9 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
- Sodium: 0 grams
- Vitamin A: 110%
- Vitamin C: 15%
- Calcium: 2%
- Iron: 2%
- The name seems deceptive because they can be grown year-round
- They get their name because they are often planted during the warmer months and harvested before the 1st frost
- Firm squash
- No soft spots or blemishes
- The best ones are those that are heavy for their size
- Cool, dry place
- Winter squash often has a thick, tough skin that makes peeling hard. It is usually easier to cook the unpeeled squash and then scoop out the cooked flesh afterwards.
- Scoop out any seeds before cooking.
- To bake: Using a whole or halved winter squash, poke holes in the skin with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degree F for 45 minutes.
- To boil: Cut squash into four pieces or rings and place in a pot of boiling water. Boil 25 minutes or until tender.
- To microwave: Place halves or quarters, cut side down, in a shallow dish; add ¼ cup water. Cover tightly and microwave on high 6 to 8 minutes or until soft.
- Squash is cooked when it is easy to cut with a fork, and the skin peels off easily.
- Try roasting or drying the seeds for a snack
- Add peeled, cooked squash cubes to your favorite soups, stews, beans, casseroles, and sauces
- Cooked winter squash makes a great side dish for meat, poultry, or fish
- Try either sweet or savory: season with maple syrup, ginger or cinnamon, or try onion, garlic, and herbs.
- Cooked squash may be frozen in an airtight container not made from metal
- “Winter squash, fresh.” (December 2012). USDA. Retrieved from http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/HHFS_WINTERSQUASH_FRESH_900150Dec2012.pdf
- “Bounty Hunger.” Shape. November 2014. 160.
- Moore, Marisa. “Winter Squash”. Food and Nutrition. November/December 2016. 30-31.