During the spring and summer, a lot of the produce at the farmers market is familiar: fresh tomatoes, bright yellow ears of sweet local corn and bell peppers so large they’re nearly unidentifiable.
When autumn rolls around, it’s not hard to spot familiar apples and pumpkins, but you might find yourself overwhelmed with the variety of squash that suddenly fills the produce stands.
To keep you from falling victim to any winter squash conundrums, we’ve pulled together a guide of some of the most common, and some of the lesser known, types of winter squash you might come across this season.
In October, there are plenty of ways to prepare seasonal vegetables. Often we see broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower starring in vegetable-based side dishes. Butternut squash, a bell-shaped type of winter squash that hails from the gourd family, is a healthy, comforting, delicious way to celebrate the harvest season.
Butternut squash is easily found in supermarkets year-round, but peaks from summer to early fall. Equally enjoyable in savory and sweet dishes, butternut squash is versatile: you can peel, steam, boil or roast it to include in a variety of dishes. (more…)
Acorn squash is a type of winter squash with astounding health benefits. Winter squash are so prized in Native American cultures, that they are often found in tribal cemeteries as gifts for the deceased.
The acorn squash is dark green with hints of orange on the outside, and has a pale, orange flesh with a nutty, sweet flavor.
Acorn squash is known for providing the following health benefits:
- Cancer-fighting properties. Acorn squash contains a large amount of phytonutrients and antioxidants that have anti-carcinogenic effects on the body.
- Men’s health. This particular squash may help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
- Immune system support. There’s nothing the acorn squash can’t do! Eat, and protect yourself from this year’s cold and flu season. (more…)
After the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables all summer long, fall might seem lacking in variety. However, with a little research, there are some great fresh fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of flavor and nutrition in the colder months. Not only do they taste better, many of them are grown locally, and local produce is always a great choice. If it’s not shipped in, odds are pretty good that the fruit is more fresh and it’s also a great option to keep your food budget in check, a win-win situation. Add these cold weather choices to your meals for great taste and exceptional benefits to your diet.
1. Apples – Studies have shown that apples can help lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, and prevent several diseases, including cancer. Apples peak in the fall, and the flavor can’t be beat. They are full of fiber, around 5 grams per fruit, and are comparatively low in calories. (more…)