HappyHealthy Newsletter: Winter Squash
Squash varieties that are harvested in the fall are known as winter squash. Common types of these include acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, and spaghetti squash.
- Winter squash plants like full sun and well-drained soil.
- Plants can take up a large area as their vines travel to get light.
- Winter squash is easy to grow if you have garden space.
- A good rule of thumb is to plant winter squash around the Fourth of July to harvest them around the end of October.
- Look for skin that has a dull finish. Avoid skin that looks shiny.
- A good winter squash will be firm with no soft spots.
- Diced butternut squash can be purchased at the grocery store. Make sure to check the sell-by date.
- Canned pumpkin is a convenient way to keep winter squash on hand. Read the nutrition facts label to be sure the canned pumpkin has no added sugar.
- Winter squash has a hard outer skin that helps preserve it. The outside can be hard to cut, so be careful with the knife.
- They can be cooked with or without the skin, but you should not eat the skin.
- Remove the seeds, but remember you can toast them for a delicious snack!
- Add roasted winter squash to pastas, salads, and soups to add flavor and nutrients.
- Winter squash will keep a month or longer stored in a cool, dark place.
- For more information about preparing winter squash, visit HappyHealthy.MS and click on Tips and Videos.
- How to Prepare Winter Squash for Cooking
Glazed Butternut Squash
- 1–2 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 teaspoon dried sage, optional
- Wash your hands well with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
- Lay the squash flat on a cutting board and slice off the ends so you will have a flat surface. Peel the sides with the squash standing.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Lay squash pieces flat side down and cut into bite size pieces.
- Turn the eye of the stove to medium-high.
- Pre-heat a large skillet.
- Add the squash, apple juice, and water to the skillet. Then add the butter, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir gently to mix all the ingredients.
- Keep cooking until the squash mixture starts to boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the squash mixture start to simmer, bubbling gently.
- Cover the skillet.
- Keep cooking for 25 minutes. Stir gently every few minutes.
- Take the cover off the skillet. Cook 5 more min- utes, until the liquid is thick and the squash is tender.
- Add the pecans and sage. Stir gently to mix with other ingredients.
- Serve the squash while it is hot.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Publication 3613 (POD-09-21)
By Anne Marie Gregory, Mississippi State University Extension Service.
This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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