New Post Mondays!
New here? Start here...
Did You Know...
...there are 150 varieties of squash grown in the United States? Go ahead...name more than 4, I double dog dare you...
Photos courtesy fotosearch
I read an article titled "Squash It!" by Matthew G. Kadey, M.S., R.D and he talks about the benefits of squash and how to use them. I used to walk past that section of the grocery and not even dare to grab one of those eery, bumpy, weirdly shaped things like gourds or squash or pumpkin even. To say I was intimidated would be an understatement. It was just this last fall when our family instituted 'try a new fruit or vegetable each week' that made me say "Let's try one of these tonight." I went out of my cooking comfort zone and I'm really glad I did. Get a load of some of the benefits within this superfood...
* Contain high levels of potassium and iron.
* Lots of fiber.
* Vitamins A - retinol, (good for eyesight, growth, appetite and taste)* and C - ascorbic acid, (good for immune system, healing wounds, reducing cholesterol, cell lifespan, preventing scurvy, and is also a natural laxative)* are all over this thing! *netdoctor.co.uk
Ellie Krieger, R.D. from alot of things but namely from Food Network says to find the right one look for the heavy one with taut skin, matte finish, and no spots or cracks. Also, if you can press your fingernail into the rind easily, pass on it. It means they picked it before it was fully ripe. Store it in a cool, dry place and it should keep for several weeks.
My families favorite way to prepare butternut squash is taken from Everyday Food. I cut the top and the bottom off. Split it in half longways (what's that called? Vertical, right? I only remember that from the 90's Mountain Dew commercials. Get vertical with Dew. So much for all that schooling huh?) Scoop out the seeds BUT DON'T THROW THEM OUT! I'll tell you why in a second. Set them flesh side up on a roasting or baking pan. (If they keep rolling, cut a sliver from the skin underneath to make a flat spot) Fill the seedless hollows with 1tbsp butter and 2 tsp of some really good maple syrup -Grade B recommended. Sprinkle it with maybe some Kosher or regular salt and pepper. Roast @ 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour and feel free to baste them with the maple butter sporadically throughout. Cut it up, spoon any extra sauce over it from the pan. Serve it as a side and the skins are edible.
Photo courtesy fotosearch
What? The seeds? Right! About them. Squash seeds contain protein, zinc, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous (which aids in bone and teeth formation)
*Protein - hair, nails, skin
*Zinc - supports normal growth during pregnancy, helps sperm develop, is needed for ovulation and fertilization.
*Magnesium - improves cramps, energy production, aids electrical conduction of the heart.
*Iron - for blood health
All this in some little seeds. Truly amazing...
Let's Eat Em! Seed Prep:
Wash off the pulp slime, dry the seeds with a towel, toss with some olive oil, salt n pepper. Spread across some aluminum foil on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 15-20 min. until they start to brown. Don't let them burn though, you've got to watch them towards the end there.
How about everyone else? Is there a gourd that really gets your gourd going and your belly fed well? Let us know. Leave a comment.
Muzak! Nelly Furtado "Well Well". I try and always say what I mean, but sometimes I get tired...