It's almost November and we haven't talked SQUASH yet! No better time than a Colorado fall, when it's snowing and 20 degrees one day and a perfect fall 53 the next. There are a few things that come up every time we teach a recipe with this fall staple:
1.) There are more kinds than just acorn, butternut and spaghetti. LOTS MORE! And you can usually find them at the grocery store in the ornamental squash bin. Make sure to do your research and make sure that they are edible varieties, but we often find our Red Kuri and Kabocha in the bin with the ornamental squash rather then the edible squash at the regular grocery stores. Head over to Asia Pacific to find even more varieties that you've never heard of before.
2.) But they're so hard to break down...Pop them in the microwave for 5 minutes to soften them up slightly, then cut and peel as desired. It will remove that moment when you realize that your knife is stuck inside the squash and there is no safe way to get it out. Yeah. We've done that, too!
3.) They don't really take that long to cook. If you are roasting squash make sure to put your oven at 425 degrees. This will ensure that you see a little browning rather than having your squash steam at a lower temperature and turn to mush. You should have perfectly cooked squash in 20-25 minutes.
4.) Use more olive oil or butter than you think you'll need, and if you're baking them in half, cook them with the cut side up and fill the cavity with some olive oil or butter, salt and pepper. This way the fat will seep into the squash, adding rich moisture and you won't loose the natural moisture from the squash by putting it cut side down.
We hope these squash tips help you become a pro. To further help you with expanding your squash knowledge, take a look below and learn about 4 great squashes that you can usually find in every grocery store, all fall!
· Sweet flavor and smooth texture
· Low in calories, rich in dietary fiber
· Edible seeds
· Thick inedible rind – needs to be peeled
· Sweeter than butternut
· Flavor tastes like a combination of pumpkin and sweet potato also texture
· Shaped like a pumpkin but is green
· Edible rind but is generally peeled
· Most of the kabocha squash grown in Colorado is exported to japan.
· Seasonal - but Cortney's pick for a delicious fall soup
Red kuri –
· Looks like a small pumpkin without the ridges
· Delicate and mellow chestnut like flavor.
· Hard but thin skin – edible when cooked. Cook w/ skin on.
· Seeds are edible when roasted.
· The word kuri is Japanese for chestnut.
· Pairs well w/ creamy ingredients.
· Great in pies and soups.
· The meat on the inside resembles angel hair after roasting.
· A cup of spaghetti (angel hair) has 200 calories per up. Spaghetti Squash has 30 calories per cup.
· Delicate flavor and al dente texture – milder in flavor than most squash
· To make “noodles” squash must be cooked first.
· Very hard and thick skin that needs discarded. Can be difficult to cut in half raw, so it CAN be cooked whole
· Can be boiled, roasted, microwaved, even pressure cooked
Try a new squash this season in some of our favorite recipes: