Season of Squash

Written by Rachel O’Connor
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

peeling vegetable

Image by Rachel O’Connor

In March, it’s still chilly, and hard to imagine any vegetable could be in season. On the contrary — many are! One of the best vegetables to purchase during the winter/early spring is squash. It is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and a good source of vitamins E, A, and C, as well as calcium and manganese (Squash Intimidation 2013). Butternut, acorn, and spaghetti are the most common types available during the colder months. Butternut squash is an ideal choice if looking to incorporate in a vast variety of recipes. Anything from soup to pasta to casseroles can integrate this versatile vegetable. What are some of your favorite recipes for squash or other in-season vegetables? Enlighten us!

It may be intimidating if you have never cooked it, but there are some very simple methods. After peeling and cutting in half, the seeds need to be scooped out. Then you can roast it in the oven or zap it in the microwave for a quick dish; time will be dependent on size of squash.

A recipe that is not only simple, but also nutritious and delicious is spice-roasted butternut squash and onions. The only ingredients are a large, cut and peeled squash, a red onion, olive oil, garam masala (a great Indian spice, combining sweet with a mild kick, found in most grocery stores), salt, black pepper, and cilantro (though I usually forego the cilantro out of personal preference). Olive oil is a great choice when cooking vegetables in a light way because it is a monounsaturated fat that may help lower the risk of heart disease and also gives vegetables a nice flavor.

Chop, season, and roast for 25 minutes at 400°, and voila! An easy side dish everyone will enjoy.

diced squash

Image by Rachel O’Connor

up close squash

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe:

 

  • 1 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 2 1/4 pound(s) uncooked butternut squash, fresh, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium uncooked red onion(s), halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • 3 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped

References

Squash intimidation. In eatright.org. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442478245

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