Every Reason Why You Should be Eating Winter Squash
There are many varieties of winter squash and since we can’t cover them all, we’re picking a few of our favorites and taking a deeper dive into their taste and nutrition. Plus, we’re sharing tips from one of our regional executive chefs to make it easier for you to prepare these delicious squash varieties at home.
Butternut squash may be the most recognizable winter squash on this list. It has an oblong shape with pale orange skin and a bright orange flesh. Once you taste it, it’s easy to understand why it’s such a popular squash on store shelves.
Nutrition: One cup of butternut squash has 100 calories, 28 grams carbohydrate, and 4 grams fiber. Butternut squash is also an excellent source of carotenoids such as beta-carotene that give it its bright orange color.
FLIK Chef Tip: Roast on high temperature with brown sugar and cinnamon. It makes for a sweet side that pairs well with savory meats.
Also known as Japanese pumpkin, kabocha squash is a small, green squash with a rich orange center and a taste similar to a sweet potato. It’s popular in Japanese cuisine and sometimes you’ll see it served battered and fried. While it’s hard to pass up tempura kabocha, we also love this squash steamed, pureed, or roasted.
Nutrition: 100 grams or about one cup of kabocha squash has 35 calories and is low in carbohydrates coming in at under 10 grams. Kabocha is also a source of potassium and vitamin C.
FLIK Chef Tip: Kabocha is a versatile squash with many cultural applications. It makes a great puree for soups, is delicious when stuffed with beef stew such as is popular in Argentinian cuisine, and is even used in Korean cuisine in pancakes.
Acorn squash is aptly named as its shape resembles that of an acorn. It has a dark green exterior and a bright yellow center. Its nutty flavor makes it a perfect pairing for fall and winter flavors.
Nutrition: Acorn squash is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium. It’s also low in calories with one cup containing under 50 calories.
FLIK Chef Tip: Roast acorn squash with butter and sage then chill for a salad. Acorn squash can also act as a boat for stuffing. Try filling with whole grains and dried fruit for a hearty side.
It’s not clear why this squash is named after the long, thin noodles until after it’s cooked. The pale yellow flesh resembles spaghetti after cooking which makes for a great substitute for or addition to the traditional pasta.
Nutrition: One cup of spaghetti squash has 31 calories and is a source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
FLIK Chef Tip: Cut in half, remove seeds, and roast. Scoop out the string like filling and top with sauce as you would your favorite pasta.
Delicata squash is smaller than many of the other winter squash varieties. It is oval in shape with ridges and typically has green strips on the rind. Unlike many other winter squashes, you can eat the rind of the delicate squash. This makes it easy to prepare since peeling is not required.
Nutrition: One cup of delicata squash comes in at about 40 calories and provides potassium and fiber.
FLIK Chef Tip: Slice lengthwise scoop out the middle to slice into half-moons. Roast and enjoy with the peel on. Alternatively, slice in half, scoop seeds and fill with a savory stuffing for a fun side.
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