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How do I Select the Perfect Squash

HOW DO I SELECT THE PERFECT SQUASH

Winter squashes come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and tastes. Make sure that it is not heavy for its size and has taut skin with not soft spots or cracks.

ACORN SQUASH

This gets it’s name from the tree nut it resembles. It has mostly dark green skin with yellow-orange flesh that has subtle taste. These are great for roasting, perfect for stuffing with various grain salads and taste great with syrup sauces such as pomegranate or balsamic.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

This hour-glass shaped squash has a silky texture and a taste reminiscent of sweet potato bathed in butter. You can roast, steam in cubes for a tasty addition to salads, frittatas and tacos. You can also mash it and use it as a stuffing for ravioli or spread for a sandwich or pizza sauce.

HUBBARD SQUASH

This giant of the squash family is available in blue-grey, green or orange-red varieties. All have a warty skin and grain, mildly sweet flesh. You can use this squash cut into cubes or string onto kebab skewers or toss with parsnips and rutabaga for a roasted vegetable medley.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Watermelon shaped with a golden yellow rind. This squash once cooked, the flesh pulls apart into slightly nutty spaghetti-like strands. Toss the strands with pesto or top with meat sauce for a twist on pasta night. Some people also use this for pizza base.

So for different squashes you can mash it, puree and freeze them. They can be used in a range of dishes like dips, baked goods, pancakes and oatmeal. But don’t forget about the seeds. Squash seeds deliver a range of nutrients such as protein, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. So roast those seeds and use them on top of salads, soups, granola or just as they are. To roast put in a 300 degree oven on a cookie sheet and roast until golden approximately 15 minutes.

Gwen Cottingham, Registered Nutritionist 905-778-9998

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