Today, I wanted to talk about how to cook squash and give you ways to add them to your everyday diet!
There are many different varieties of squash out there. From the well known pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti and acorn squash to the lesser-known ones such as hubbard, buttercup, delicater, kaboucha, turban and sweet dumpling squash.
When buying squash, you want to make sure that it’s hard and firm. Avoid ones with soft spots and blemishes. If you’re not ready to cook them right away, store in a cool dry place for up to a month.
Squash can be roasted, stewed, sautéed, boiled, steamed and even microwaved! But to get the best taste out of them, I’d recommend roasting. Yum!
Here’s a simple recipe for roasting squash.
• Preheat oven to 375°F
• Wash the outside of the squash with water and dry well
• Cut in half, from stem to root and scoop out the seeds
• Pour about 1 tbsp of olive oil in each and add salt and pepper (to taste) and any herb or spice that you like. I personally like rosemary and add about ½ tsp to each side
• Massage the oil, salt/pepper and the herb/spice into the flesh of the squash
• Place flesh down on the baking sheet (lined with either aluminum foil or parchment paper t\for easier cleaning)
• Roast for 30-50 minutes or whenever the squash is soft/tender when poked with a fork. Roasting time will vary depending on the size and variety of your squash.
• Scoop out the flesh and either serve it as is or mash it prior to serving
* Another option would be to cut the squash into ½ inch cubes and carefully with a paring knife. Peel the skin off carefully and then toss with the oil, salt/pepper and seasonings and roast. This is what I did in my pictures. I used both Butternut and Kaboucha Squash.
* Don’t have time for roasting? Cook them in the microwave! Poke the squash with a fork, place in a microwave safe plate and cook on high for 8-12 minutes or until tender. Remember to turn over halfway through cooking. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes, cut in half and scoop out seeds and serve.
Why use squash? They are an excellent source of beta carotene and potassium and a source of vitamin C and folacin. They can also replace your starch in your meals if you are trying to reduce your carbohydrate intake. So next time you see them at the grocery store, venture over towards them, pick one up and give it a try!
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.