Simple Squash

I figured with the first snow of the season happening this week, it was the perfect time for my fall-themed post!!

Fall

Okay, maybe not the most perfect timing but I can’t believe that fall has passed us by so quickly! I was very excited to do another fall-themed post this year and I didn’t want to give up on it just because I ran out of time. If you can remember, I wrote my first ever blog post on all my favourite things about fall so I felt like I needed to continue that tradition this year to celebrate my blog turning 1! How exciting is that?! I apologize for the lateness of this post but at least squash is not only fall-themed but continues to be a delicious and warming food to incorporate into your winter diet too!

Transitioning your diet from summer to fall/winter can be a challenge because you go from having plenty of fresh veggies at your fingertips to having very few. Also, your body needs more warming, well-cooked foods as the weather gets colder, as opposed to the raw salads of summertime. Squash is perfect for both these challenges! Squash season is in the fall and it is delicious when cooked well! It is also incredibly nutritious.

Recently I was looking for information on the nutrients in squash and I found this Globe and Mail article. Take a look at it! It talks about all the amazing health benefits of squash and the differences between them. Squash is full of so many important, health-promoting nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium (did you know you can get calcium from vegetables? Pretty cool, eh?) and magnesium. Have I convinced you to eat squash yet??

Let me share with you my two favourite types of squash and a super easy way to cook each of them! (Bonus: according to the Globe and Mail article, they are also the most nutritious!)

The Acorn Squash.

The acorn squash is the small green one. It is available at most grocery stores and you really can’t go wrong with it!

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse the outside of the squash.
  3. Take a large, sharp knife and cut it in half. Sometimes cutting off the top/stem first can make it easier to cut in half.
  4. Scoop out all the seeds from the middle. You can save these seeds and roast them to make a delicious snack!
  5. Coat the orange parts of both halves of the squash with butter or an oil of some sort (I prefer using butter/earth balance because it gives the squash a really delicious caramelized flavour but coconut, olive, or really any type of oil should work too).
  6. Place both halves face down on a baking sheet.
  7. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes (time will vary depending on the size of the squash).
  8. When you think the squash looks done, stick a knife through it. The knife will go through easily when the squash is fully cooked.
  9. You can add whatever spices you would like to give your squash some flavour! I love cinnamon and nutmeg but it is also incredibly delicious without adding anything.
  10. Enjoy! I eat it right out of the skin but you can eat it however you want 🙂

Acorn Squash

The other reason I love acorn squash so much is you can make stuffed squash!!! You can stuff a squash with basically anything you like! You would cook the squash first and add the filling once the squash is fully cooked. Here are some fun ideas:

http://elanaspantry.com/acorn-squash-with-cranberry-apple-stuffing/

http://www.marthastewart.com/946769/acorn-squash-stuffed-mushrooms-and-rice

The Butternut Squash.

The butternut squash is light beige in colour and it is also really easy to find in any grocery store. You can roast it the same way you roast an acorn squash (cut in half, remove seeds, roast) or you can cut it into smaller pieces to roast it. This is my preferred method.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse the squash.
  3. Cut the bottom part off.
  4. Stand up the long/skinny part and slice the outside skin off. Do the same thing for the bottom part.
  5. Cube it. There will be seeds you need to remove from the bottom part.
  6. Place the cubed squash on a baking sheet, coat in oil (coconut works well!), and add some salt.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until they appear tender and are easily pierced by a fork.

Butternut Squash

If you want more of a caramelized flavour, you can do it in a frying pan in some butter. This is also easy and delicious.

What do you think? Do you feel like eating squash for dinner tomorrow? Try making it and let me know what you think!!

Continue eating squash throughout the winter as a warm, simple, delicious, and nutritious veggie that will add colour to any of your meals!

Enjoy 🙂

Emily

 

 

 

Reference: Beck L. I love to eat squash this time of year. Is one healthier than the others? [Internet]. Toronto: The Globe and Mail Inc.; 2014 Oct 28. [updated 2014 Oct 28; cited 2014 Oct 29]. Available from: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/i-love-to-eat-squash-this-time-of-year-is-one-healthier-than-the-others/article21352343/

 

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