Squash: A guide to fall's bounty
Healthy and tasty
Just by looking at winter squash, you can tell it's a workhorse. This imposing, tough-skinned vegetable can be left on the shelf in a dark room for months, then cut open, roasted, and served to a family of four for a hearty dish.
Our ancestors counted on winter squash as a dietary staple during the long, bleak months after a fall harvest. Before refrigeration, food that could stay fresh for months was highly prized. On such a limited diet, any vegetable that could offer such wide variety in tastes and textures was even more coveted.
Today, easy access to packaged convenience foods means we often overlook the nutritional content and stick-to-your-ribs heartiness of fresh garden vegetables. It's time to rediscover - the economical and - easy-to-prepare winter squash.
A typical winter squash has only 150 to 200 calories. It is a good source of fiber and calcium, and offers more than 20% each of the USDA recommended daily values of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. Squash is also high in vitamin A.
Eating healthful foods is one thing, but it helps if they taste good, too. Some people have the mistaken impression that because a winter squash resembles a gourd, it must be hard, dry, and tasteless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Winter squash range in flavor from nutty to sweet, both strong and mild, with textures from firm to creamy.
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