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Different squash varieties and tips

Fall and winter are the prime seasons for squash. Many times, squash will go unnoticed at the grocery store. Other times, you might notice them, but be too intimidated to prepare one. Squash is a versatile veggie that is not as intimidating as it may seem.

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Squash, all varieties, are packed with a lot of nutrients. They are full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, manganese, folate, and many other essential nutrients, all of which are vital to maintaining good overall health.

The most popular squash varieties in grocery stores are:

  • Acorn - very hard, black-green skin. Try roasting it with butter, salt and pepper.
     
  • Butternut - pale, creamy skin. It has a sweet, creamy flesh that makes great soups.
     
  • Spaghetti - bright yellow skin. The inside resembles spaghetti and with its mild flavor, it can easily be substituted for pasta.

What's Cooking America shows some of the less common, but equally delicious varieties:

  • Delicata - Thin, yellow skin with green streaks. It has a creamy consistency that tastes great just about any way you prepare it. Try sautéing slices with butter, cinnamon and agave nectar.
     
  • Ambercup - bright orange skin and a sweet taste with the texture of yams. You can prepare it the same way you would sweet potatoes or yams.
     
  • Carnival - cream colored skin with green and orange spots. Exceptionally good in soups.
     
  • Buttercup - has a dark green skin with occasional patches of light green and orange. You can use this squash the same way you would sweet potatoes.
     
  • Hubbard - very hard-skinned squash, which allows it to keep for a long time. Makes really great pies. It comes in several colors, green, gray, blue and a golden orange.
     
  • Sweet Dumpling - a very small, cute squash with cream colored skin, green stripes and orange patches. Since they are so small, they can easily be prepared whole by roasting or steaming.

This is not even close to all of the varieties of squash in the world, but it is some of the ones that you might come across in your local markets. Remember that squash is a very versatile food and it is easy to find a method of preparation that best suits your tastes.

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