One of my favorite things about the fall is the realization that though the tomatoes, fruits, and summer veggies might be coming to an end, there is a whole new harvest waiting for me. Walking into my first October market, I find myself feeling rejuvenated and ready for the beautiful colors that are awaiting me. Here in the Northeast fall (and I am sure in many other areas), the items may change, but the nutrients and variety is just as plentiful as summer.
Squash is something that I have been experimenting with for the last few years. My mind was blown when I realized all of the varieties, the colors, and the flavors that went along with them. From the classic pumpkin to the kabucha and acorn, your winter can be chock full of new dishes each served with a new one or combination of many.
I’ll take you through some squash varieties that I have come to know and love!
- Butternut Squash –
- Found in most supermarkets in the fall through winter, it is easily recognized by it’s light tan colored large bottom and tall thin (er) neck. I love the surprise orange flesh that you’ll find when you cut it open! Delicious just roasted and served as a side dish, I also love this recipe for Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas and this one for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.
- Red Kabocha Squash –
- Now this hue is just amazing. Definitely matching the Crayola color red-orange, it is shaped a bit like a traditional pumpkin. There is also a green variety of this squash too, the red however is much sweeter. My favorite recipes to try with a kabocha squash most definitely is: Kabocha Squash Gnocchi.
- Sugar Pumpkin –
- I hoard these like crazy in the fall. Then I roast them, puree them, and freeze the goods for use all year. This is a smallish pumpkin that is notably sweet. After roasting, you’ll notice that the walls are thick, giving you tons of flesh to puree! I love making a good Pumpkin Bread with this.
- Spaghetti Squash –
- The insides of this squash are just what they sound like – spaghetti. And many people use them as just that. Paired with a savory sauce and other veggies added it can make the perfect fresh low carb, gluten free dish. This is a great traditional pasta alternative.
- Blue Hubbard Squash –
- I’m not quite sure why but this is my favorite squash. I think it has to do with the variety of shapes that this squash comes in. And most definitely the beautiful blue/teal/green color faded just a bit with a bright orange flesh (the perfect color pair). I love making a classic Roasted Squash Soup out of this one!
- Delicata Squash –
- This one is one that I have not experimented a lot with…yet. It is a yellow color with green stripes and has an elongated shape. It’s skin is very thin and edible as well as the flesh which has a different consistency than most other squash varieties making it a great option for stuffing it and enjoying the whole thing. Try this recipe with the delicata – Chipotle Black Bean Stuffed Delicata Squash.
- Acorn Squash –
- My favorite flavor in a squash for sure. It’s sweet yet mild flavor makes it a great substitute in so many dishes. My staple enchilada recipe in the fall and winter is one using acorn squash in its sauce. Shaped like an acorn and a hunter green, you can’t miss this one at the farmers market! This Acorn Squash with Cornbread Sausage Stuffing is a must have too!
There are so many other varieties that I didn’t talk about. I’d love to hear what your favorites are and what you do with all of them!