Farmers markets and local harvests are cropping up with all kinds of squash varieties. Here's what to do with that great produce.
When I was asked to write up a little primer about autumn squashes, I was all for it. After all, I thought, the autumn varieties are my favorite.
Except for one thing … research revealed that autumn squashes don’t exist. There actually is no autumn
squash per se -- squash is actually only referred to as belonging to two seasons: summer and winter. Go figure. So, we’re going to talk those winter varieties
, which are ripening right now.
Winter squash varieties will be harvested through October. Most squash can be kept in a cool dry place for several months before eating. And because squash is such a tasty and filling ingredient, that means you have loads of opportunities to use them in the coming months!
This sweeter variety of squash is a popular side dish. It’s a larger squash with a bulbous end. The easiest way to cut it open is by softening it first by blanching or briefly microwaving. Try it roasted or one of these ways:
A smaller variety with a green exterior and yellow-ish interior. It can be used just like butternut squash, though it’s less sweet in flavor. It’s also great for stuffing with other foods. Try one of these awesome acorn squash recipes:
Known for its spaghetti-like strands, this should be cooked and then removed from the shell with a fork.It can be used as you would spaghetti. This is quite possibly my favorite squash of all. Check out these yummy ways to make spaghetti squash:
Want more info on this squash variety? Check out our How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Chances are you’ve seen a pumpkin. I mean, who hasn’t. Jack O’Lantern, anyone? But pumpkins are so good for so much more than just pies. It lends itself well to sweet applications, but is great in savory ones too. These recipes highlight pumpkin's great fall flavor:
Hubbard, buttercup, delicata, winter crookneck, and more squash varieites are available as summer fades into the cooler months.
Check out your local farmers market to see what squash varieties are ripening in your area now and in the coming weeks, and keep these recipes handy so you know exactly what to do when you get them!
Want more delish dish ideas? Try our collection of Winter Squash Recipes
!Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.
How do you like squash best?