This weekend is proof that fall has arrived (along with Hurricane Joaquin). While I could do without the endless rain and dreariness, fall is by far my favorite season. It is this time of year that reminds me I can start using the oven and other heat-producing appliances, and become inspired to try new warm and flavorful dishes. Soups, stews, slow-cooker….yes, please!
This season’s produce pick is gourds & squash of all kinds. Technically speaking, squashes, gourds, and pumpkins are all members of the cucurbita genus, and are actually fruits! Varieties such as hubbard, cushaw, acorn, carnival, kabocha, pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti, and butternut are the most commonly found winter types (although harvested in fall, they can last throughout the winter months).
Nutritionally speaking, the winter squashes are nutrient powerhouses. They are naturally low in fat and packed with fiber, vitamins A & C, as well as potassium and magnesium. Their texture is firmer than the summer squashes, and have mild-to-sweet flavors that don’t overwhelm other ingredients.
If you have met with a Nourish dietitian, you have likely discussed starchy vs. non-starchy vegetables, and their place in your diet. Winter squashes are considered to be starchy vegetables due to their comparable calorie and starch content to grains. Substituting winter squashes for grains or other vegetables are a great way to add color, variety, and nutrition to your diet.
Pumpkin typically gets all the attention—and in the form of PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes), pie, or other sweets—so let’s give the other guys a chance to shine in some savory dishes:
Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the skin with a peeler or knife. (Click here to learn how to safely prep a butternut squash)
Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut up the peeled squash into 1-inch chunks. On a baking sheet, toss squash with 2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil, and season with a dash of salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp rosemary. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender.
Check out these recipes featured on Nourish’s Pinterest page: