Guide to Cooking Winter Squash

There are two types of squash. They are summer squash and winter squash. Winter squash has a hard skin and therefore it will keep well and not spoil as quickly. For easier cooking, you should cut up the winter squash by slicing in half through the stem. Then scoop out the seeds and bake, steam, or microwave it until tender. It can then be served in the skin or scooped out just as easily.

There are eight types of winter squash; acorn, buttercup, butternut, delicata, hubbard, pumpkins, spaghetti, and sweet dumpling. They each have a different look and taste, and all should be explored for their wonderful healthy benefits.

Acorn squash – These are ridged, round, and pointed with a dark green skin that has orange patches. It has orange and stringy flesh. It is a sweet squash.

Buttercup squash – These are round with a dark green skin. They are sweet, slightly dry, and have a smooth orange pulp. These have a very sweet squash.

Butternut squash – These are pear shaped with beige skin. They have bright orange flesh, with a moist and very smooth texture. They are a sweet squash.

Delicata squash – These are small and oval with yellow skin and green stripes. They have a dark sweet smooth orange flesh. It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor.

Hubbard squash – These are bumpy with greenish gray skin. They have a sweet yellow flesh with rich sweet flavor. They are mostly sold in cut wedges due to its size.

Pumpkin – These are dark orange skin with paler orange flesh. They are good for many things. For cooking, choose a sugar pumpkin as they are denser and with smoother flesh. The regular pumpkins make good jack o laterns. They have a mild flavor.

Spaghetti squash – These are large oval and pale yellow skinned squash. They are stringy and either yellow or orange flesh that resembles spaghetti when separated. They have a neutral mild flavor.

Sweet dumpling squash – These are much like delicata in many ways but with a flat pumpkin shape. They have a mild sweet flavor.

Winter squash makes beautiful colorful and oh so healthy recipes that everyone will just love. Cooking a casserole is the easiest way to get children and finicky eaters to start in on winter squash. Below is a great recipe to start them out on.

Buttercup Squash Casserole
1) 1 medium buttercup squash
2) 2 tablespoons brown sugar
3) �¼ teaspoon salt
4) �¼ teaspoon cinnamon
5) �¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6) 2 tablespoons butter
7) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
8) 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut into quarters and remove the seeds. Place the cut side down in a baking dish and bake it 45-50 minutes til tender. Slightly cook after taking it out of the oven. Grease a 1 quart casserole dish and scoop out the squash’s pulp. Place this in a separate dish and add ingredients 2-6. Mix with a fork. Spoon mixture into the casserole dish and sprinkle it with chives and the other nutmeg quantity. Bake this 20-25 minutes until thoroughly heated.

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