What’s local, inexpensive, highly nutritious, and simply delicious?? Winter Squash :)

I could write an entire book about the health benefits of winter squash…complete with descriptions and recipes!  We are smack-dab in the middle of squash harvest.  As I write, I have 2 sugar pumpkins and a spaghetti squash in my backseat. [I’m at the library working :)]  Today I’m going to share some general info about the different varieties of winter squash….and why they are so ding dang good for you!  I’m so excited about winter squash that I’m going to highlight pumpkins in my November newsletter, NOURISHING NEWS.  So here goes with the winter squash info…..

*winter squash are related to the melon and cucumber family….think vines 🙂

*winter squash have a hard, protective skin, which allows them to stay fresh a long time in a cool, dry place

*winter squash are mildly sweet….they can play a major part in a savory or sweet recipe

*winter squash come in many sizes and shapes: butternut squash, acorn squash, Hubbard squash, spaghetti sauce, pumpkins

*peak season for winter squash is October and November…the nutrients and flavor are at their highest concentration…..and cost is low…..:)

*look for winter squash that is firm, heavy (for its size), with a dull rind

*choose organic whenever possible

*winter squash are rich in vitamins A & C, potassium, fiber, and manganese

*winter squash are a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins

*winter squash are bursting with carotenoid phytonutrients  (say what???)….these are plant nutrients responsible for the “orangey” color….these nutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers!

*winter squash promotes heart health and respiratory health

*one cup of cooked squash equals 80 silly calories 🙂

Pick your winter squash of choice and get cookin’

Source:  The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan

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