Squash is very versatile, and there are lots to choose from this time of year. We’ll be sharing recipes with you in the coming weeks, but first wanted to review some of the most popular types of squash you will find during the fall.
My favorite, Butternut Squash. It’s beige in color and is shaped like a bell or vase. It is easy to peel and it’s sweet, nutty flavor makes delicious soups and it’s also great for roasting. When buying one at the store, the more color it has, the sweeter the squash.
Calabaza: I always thought this was Cuban since my grandmother used it for a lot of dishes, when in fact it is from West India. It is hard to cut up as the outside is very tough, so try to get someone in the produce section to at least cut it in half for you. It’s great baked, as well as in homemade soups, red beans and lentils.
Spaghetti: This squash has helped me through many low carb diets. Cut in half, roast face down in some water and then use a fork to make it look like spaghetti strands. Add a little olive oil, butter or your favorite sauce and you have an easy dinner that makes you feel like you are eating pasta with none of the guilt. Here’s a useful tip – the larger the Spaghetti squash, the better it will taste.
Acorn or Pepper Squash: The most common is a dark green. It can be baked, sautéed or steamed.
Sugar pumpkin: This is what you want to use for pies, pancakes, muffins and more. A medium size pumpkin should give you about 1 1/2 cups of mashed pumpkin. Unlike the Spaghetti squash, bigger is not better. You want to stick to small to medium size sugar pumpkins for the best flavor.
Buttercup Squash: This pumpkin has a dark green exterior, sometimes with lighter green streaks. It is sweeter than most other squash, except for the sugar pumpkin. It can be baked, mashed, steamed or stuffed, and is a great filler for sweet potato.
Hubbard Squash: These pumpkins are big and have a funny shape. They are blue or grayish in color and because they have an extra thick shell, they do last for quite a long time. You can boil or roast them, as well as using them for pies.
To store winter squash keep them in a cool, dry place. Once cut, wrap and refrigerate up to 5 days. You can cook the squash and then freeze it for future use in soups.