Funnily enough, winter squashes are not solely for use in the winter season. They are harvested in the fall, but store well during the cold winter months they are named after. Colorful, flavorful, and full of nutrients, here are 5 Winter Squashes You Must Try to brighten up your cold-weather meals.
Acorn Squash: Fun fact: along with beans and corn, acorn squash is considered to be a food staple for Native Americans. 1 cup of acorn squash provides 9 grams of dietary fiber, meeting more than ⅓ of the daily requirement. Nuttier and more savory than other winter squash varieties, acorn squash can be used in a multitude of ways, such as in a Wild Rice & Acorn Squash Wedge Salad by Chelsey Amer Nutrition.
Butternut Squash: With a nutty flavor and buttery mouthfeel, it’s no wonder how this winter squash earned its name. One of the highest vegetable sources of vitamin A and packed with dietary fiber, butternut squash is a powerhouse of nutrients. For a fun way to incorporate this into your next meal, try this Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese the whole family will love.
Delicata Squash: Brightly colored with delicate pinstripes throughout, delicata squash is a favorite pick during this season for its ease of preparation, versatility, and sweet flavor. With its moist and creamy texture, many consider delicata squash to be strikingly similar to sweet potatoes. Delicata squash is delightful to eat on its own, or paired with complimentary flavors and textures, such as in Craving Something Healthy’s Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Delicata Squash, and Cranberries with Balsamic Syrup.
Kabocha Squash: Otherwise known as the Japanese pumpkin, kabocha has a dark green exterior with a vibrant, yellow-orange flesh. Lower in calories and carbohydrates than other winter squash varieties, 1 cup of kabocha squash also meets 70% of your daily vitamin A requirement. To learn how to make use of its sweet, nutty flavor, check out Rachael Hartley Nutrition’s Kabocha, Kale, & Roasted Garlic Soup.
Spaghetti Squash: This squash is named after its spaghetti-like flesh, packed with fiber and beta-carotene in every bite. While it doesn’t taste like the classic Italian dish, this hearty root vegetable is a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate alternative to satisfy your cravings. The mild flavor lends itself to versatility in a variety of recipes, such as Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.
While these are the most common varieties found at local grocery stories, there are many other different types of winter squashes waiting to be discovered. Drop by your local farmer’s market or co-op to find more. With any luck, you’ll have enough varieties to last you the entire fall and winter seasons. In the meantime, enjoy these 5 Winter Squashes you must try.
Alexa Tiletile, Dietetic Intern