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Winter Squashes

The season of fresh corn on the cob has past, seemingly, everyone’s favorite vegetable. What can replace it? Try the rich flavors of winter squash. So many varieties to choose from. Acorn and butternut are well known. Spaghetti squash is becoming a favorite. Then there’s turban, carnival, hubbard, delicata. Exotic-sounding, maybe, but delicious.

Winter squashes have a hard shell, so they store easily. This rind can be difficult to chop, so it’s best sliced vertically, scoop out the seeds and fiber, roast in the oven or bake in a microwave until tender. An oven temperature of 350 degrees for 30 minutes should be sufficient. Fill the cavity with a little butter, salt, pepper, chopped nuts, chopped apple, a little brown sugar. Return to the oven or microwave until the butter and sugar melt. This is a great substitute for baked potatoes. Or let your imagination go wild with the stuffings. Anyway, the results will be heart-warming.

FYI: Winter squashes are low in calories, rich in Vitamins A and C, a good source of Beta Carotine, full of complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. Winter squash is uniquely American, considered by Indians as one of the three sisters, squash, corn and beans. The Blue Hubbard squash is a marvel. Weighing about 30 pounds, one could feed a small army. It’s flesh is smooth and buttery.

From soups to desserts, to breads, and side dishes, winter squashes are a versatile vegetable that needs more attention in our kitchen. Explore them for yourself. You’re in for a treat, a healthy one, at that.

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