3 Fall Squash & How to Prepare Them

We love seasonal foods, and when the fall and winter squashes start appearing in large quantities in grocery stores and at farmer’s markets, we start thinking about all the meals we’ll create with these nutritious and tasty vegetables. 

If you aren’t used to cooking with fall and winter squash, some of them may look intimidating. But don’t worry — the hardest part of preparing fall and winter squash is cutting them! Some squash can be a bit difficult to slice until you get the hang of it. When in doubt, use YouTube to find a quick tutorial

Besides being a tasty part of winter meals, we love squash for its health benefits. Squash is full of antioxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and more. Squash can have a positive effect on blood pressure, digestion, and energy levels. 

Learn more about these 3 common fall squash and how to use them.

Butternut Squash 

This winter squash is harvested in the fall and can be stored for several months. This is one of the more common squashes that you’ve probably seen and eaten before, but it can be prepared in ways from sweet to savory, making it a versatile staple for fall cooking. 

Nutrients: a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C, E and B6, and folate. 

How to prepare:
This recipe for Simple Butternut Squash is great if you are new to cooking butternut squash and want to try something easy. Peel, seed, and cube the squash, toss it in olive oil, season with garlic, salt, and pepper, then roast for 25 minutes. Serve as a side dish with chicken or use in a veggie bowl with quinoa, beans, and broccoli. 

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash comes in a variety of skin colors, but the flesh inside is golden brown. You’ll recognize these squash as they resemble their namesake nut! This is also a versatile squash, but it’s common to cook it with cinnamon, brown sugar, or maple syrup — which makes your kitchen smell great! 

Nutrients: antioxidants, vitamins A, B6 and C, folate, fiber, and potassium.

How to prepare:
Try this Maple Roasted Acorn Squash recipe for an excellent side dish at a holiday meal. Besides squash, all you need is maple syrup, olive oil, fresh sage or rosemary, and salt and pepper. 

When you scoop the pits out of acorn squash, it leaves you with a nice bowl-shaped indent that is perfect for stuffing, so consider roasting your squash with lean meat, vegetables, and even a little cheese for a complete meal. This recipe for Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash offers great tips. 

Spaghetti Squash

If you’ve never tried spaghetti squash, you may not understand the name — after all, it’s shaped more like a watermelon than a noodle! However, once baked, it’s flesh shreds into long, pasta-like strands that can be used in place of noodles in any type of dish.

Nutrients: High in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C and B6, manganese, and niacin. 

How to prepare:
This basic primer on How to Cook Spaghetti Squash will walk you through the best way to cut and roast the squash. After cooking, fluff the insides with a fork to get a noodle-like texture, and from there serve with your favorite sauce for a tasty low-carb “pasta” dish.

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