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A Wife’s Guide to Winter Squash

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Even though most of us are more familiar with winter squash’s less doughty cousin–summer squash like zucchini–winter squash is an excellent addition to a cold-weather diet. Winter squash lasts three to five months after it’s autumn harvest time, so there the closest thing to in-season vegetables most of us can find until early spring. Winter squasheare also nutrient-dense, full of vitamins like iron, folate, and fiber. They’re even a great low-carb or gluten-free alternative for those with special dietary needs. Experimental Wifery shares our favorite winter squash and three recipe ideas to get you cooking.

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is usually the easiest to find and most recognizable in grocery stores. The softball-sized squash looks like a giant, green-ish acorn and has sweet, fibrous flesh inside. Acorn squash normally weigh 1-3 pounds. One squash makes a side for two adults or a main course for 1.

How do we enjoy it?

Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake it until the skin is tender, about 30-45 minutes. Season the squash with butter or olive oil, salt, and a dash of nutmeg before serving. Leaving the squash in its skin makes for a beautiful presentation on the plate.

Butternut Squash

I found butternut squash intimidating the first time I bought it. It is a large, round squash with a bell-shaped bottom. Butternut squash is not a brightly colored fruit, but the more vibrant the pale orange color, the better the sweet and nutty taste. Most butternut squash weigh 3-5 lbs., so you may want to plan more than one recipe or serving for this generous vegetable.

How do we enjoy it?

Replace the boiled potato in your favorite gnocchi recipe with baked or steamed butternut squash. You may need to add an egg and a bit more flour to hold the pasta together.

Spaghetti Squash

The football-sized, yellow spaghetti squash is quickly becoming a popular favorite. When cooked, the flesh actually has a similar texture, shape, and even taste as spaghetti pasta–without the gluten or carbs so many people are trying to avoid. Spaghetti squash normally weigh 2-5 lbs., but the largest, yellowest squash have the best flavor.

How do we enjoy it?

Cut the squash in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Bake it until the skin is tender, 45-30 minutes. Scoop out the insides and top with your favorite pasta sauce.

What are some of your favorite harvest-time recipes? Let us know in the comments.

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