Fall is here for good and that means that squash is having its peak in soups, pies, side dishes and yummy casseroles.
To be honest, I didn’t grow up eating any type of squash. After I moved to the U.S. many years ago, I was introduced to the butternut squash and I loved it mashed with fresh butter; oh, so delicious! For a while, I would see other types of squash thinking they were just for decoration . . . . But over the years, I got exposed to more and more members of the beautiful squash family, so I decided to learn about and ‘dare’ some new recipes. But first things first, I thought it would be fun to explore some of the most common individual squash:
Butternut Squash: One of the most popular ones, with the yellow orange color flesh and the sweetness of butternut.
Besides the easy mashed with butter recipe, I love the blossom skillet, which is as beautiful looking as it tastes. Get the recipe HERE
Delicata is full of Vitamin A and other nutrients and it is also known as Peanut or Bohemian Squash. Its thin skin has a creamy soft consistency similar to sweet potatoes and is easy to cook. One my favorite recipes is the Delicata Squash Grilled Sandwich, see the recipe HERE:
Blue Hubbard Squash
Blue Hubbard is large and plump and has a smooth, sweet, savory, and just a little bit nutty taste. It can replace all the pumpkin or big squash recipes, and can be roasted, baked or steamed. My favorite recipe is the Roasted Soup with hazelnuts and chives, and you can get the recipe HERE:
Who doesn’t know the healthy spaghetti? Just in case you don’t know, after the squash is baked, its flesh can be combed with a fork making a spaghetti-like appearance. In my household it is the official replacement of pasta, and we love it topped with classic meat sauce. But in case you want something different than this spaghetti squash staple, try this breakfast variation recipe HERE:
The Japanese pumpkin, known as Kabocha, is a large green stripy squash with thick, sweet flesh that tastes something between sweet potato and pumpkin. It has bright orange flesh and it’s very nutritious, high in anti-oxidants, beta-carotene and a great source of fiber. Great to be swapped in recipes that ask for butternut squash if you desire a little sweeter taste. HERE is a great recipe of Kabocha salad:
Acorn squash is another one of my favorites. It has a very mild flavor and has yellow, firm flesh, and dark green and orange skin. It roasts well and it is great stuffed. I often get creative with the stuffing I use. HERE is a good yummy way:
Sweet Dumpling Squash
Perfect for individual servings, the Sweet Dumpling squash is also great stuffed and baked. The skin is often white with mottled yellow, orange, and/or green markings. Inside, the flesh is smooth, tender, and sweet, with a bright yellow color. Like all winter squash, it’s a great source of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and fiber.
HERE is a recipe with roasted, sweet dumpling squash, with cranberries and orange ginger glaze.
The West Indian pumpkin known more as Calabaza squash or Zapollo, is more popular in Latin America and the Caribbean, yet it is easy to grow in the United States as its thick skin makes it is more resistant to pests and disease. It is sweet, and has orange or yellow flesh; when cooked is smooth, fine-textured, and has a mild nutty flavor like butternut squash. HERE is an easy recipe with lime, garlic and cilantro.
I hope you have fun exploring the squashes the way I do–it’s the season after all! There is no doubt that, the different types of squash are not just aesthetically beautiful with their colors and shapes, but also make amazing dishes!