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Squashes

Posted on Sunday 28 October 2018

By Diana Earnshaw, Volunteer Contributor

Squashes

I love this bountiful time of year – but mostly when the squashes are in the shop! There are so many different types – smooth or knobbly; green, orange or multicoloured; long, flat or round and all beautiful. And the wonderful pumpkins of course! They just beckon the cook to produce thick soups, hearty vegetable casseroles or a new “mash”. The delicious flavour is creamy and slightly sweet – gorgeous baked and served with a knob of butter.

They all contain carotenoids – a precursor to vitamin A, but the orange ones contain the most. There is vitamin C and many of B vitamins to be had, plus some calcium and magnesium. Squashes contain a little fibre too. 

Squash seeds can be eaten so there really doesn’t need to be much waste!

To bake your own squash seeds:

  • Separate the seeds from the squash,
  • Spread them out on a cookie sheet
  • Toast them lightly at 160-170°F for 15 to 20 minutes. The low temperature decreases damage to healthy oils like linoleic acid (polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid - the same non-hydrogenated substance found in olive oil.
  • Add some unrefined salt if you wish. 

What to do with cooked squash:

  1. Soup: Scoop all the flesh from the squash and either chop it into large chunks for a brothy soup, or purée it for a creamy soup.
  2. Casseroles: Layer the scooped squash into a lasagna or toss it into your favourite casserole, along with the rest of the ingredients. Here's how to make a simple pasta bake with whatever ingredients you have on hand.
  3. Hearty salads: Toss big chunks of the leftover squash in with the rest of your salad fixings for lunch tomorrow.
  4. Pasta dinner: Squash and pasta are great together. Add some brown butter and sage, and you have the perfect mid-week comfort food.
  5. Put it in (or on) a crust: Squash-stuffed calzones(a bit like a pasty)? Squash-topped pizza? Squash-filled quesadillas? Don't knock it until you try it.

Try these recipes!

Roast Squash and Walnuts - Two Ways

Butternut Squash Soup

Baked Squash

 

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