FALL AND WINTER SQUASH: OH, THE CHOICES WE HAVE!
When we think of fall, perhaps the first images that come to mind are the gorgeous changing colors of the leaves. It is hard to match that natural beauty. However, with the cooler weather, nature also provides us with a splendid variety of fall vegetables, especially squash, which come in all types of colors and shapes. These squash become plentiful in the early fall and last into the winter months. There is a plethora of squash varieties: spaghetti, acorn, butternut, kabocha, hubbard, delicata, and yes, even pumpkins (which are a type of squash). We at Spice For Life would like to share with you our thoughts and easy recipes for three of the most popular fall and winter squash: Spaghetti, acorn, and butternut.
With people becoming more “carb conscious” and often looking for gluten - free recipes, the spaghetti squash has become front and center. It is a wonderful substitute for pasta. Spaghetti squash is one of the larger squashes (2-5 lbs.). When you first cut it open, it doesn’t look like strands of pasta. It’s only after you cook it and start to scrap out the insides does it start looking that way. We recommend trying our easy Spaghetti Squash with Feta Cheese, Sundried Tomatoes, and Capers recipe. It can be used as a side dish or a vegetarian-friendly main course. One of the spice blends we use to enhance the delicate flavor of the squash is our SFL Tuscan Bread Dipping Seasoning. This blend has a light Italian flavor with a little kick to it. The ingredients are: salt, garlic, black pepper, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary, basil, Mediterranean oregano, and parsley.
The name for this squash comes from its shape, reminding us of the acorns that fall from the oak trees in this season. It is one of the prettiest colored squash with its predominately green background, and yellow and orange variegations of color. The flesh of this squash has a sweet flavor. This squash can also be used as a side dish, or when stuffed, it becomes a one-pot meal. One of our favorite squash recipes is the Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, Seasoned Salt, and Tuscan Seasoning. Adding the sausage or any type of ground meat with the greens (spinach) makes it a nutritious and a filling meal. We again use the SFL Tuscan blend to give it a little Italian flavor or the SFL Pizza Blend can also be substituted. And using the SFL seasoned salts (Turmeric Coriander Salt or Spicy Seasoned Salt) brings out the flavor of the acorn squash.
Of all these three squashes, the butternut squash is the most versatile. It has a very sweet flavor, and the texture of the squash lends itself well to being pureed. So, it can be used easily to make soups, stuffing for ravioli, and in risottos, stews, and curries. But who would think it also makes a delicious dessert, a butternut squash pie? Here is a simple recipe, with the spice ingredients, which can be found at Spice For Life: Vietnamese cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and vanilla extract. Or you can substitute SFL Pumpkin Spice Blend with its cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. For those who are aficionados of pumpkin pie, this recipe is a must.
So, as you adjust to the cooler weather and enjoy the changing colors of the leaves, perhaps now is the time to experience some delicious fall squash dishes.