Vegetables with variety: Squash is a year-round cooking option
There are many things that make cooking a challenge during the winter. Whether we just want to stay indoors, watch a movie and order out, or are just too lazy to cook, it's a struggle to find the inspiration and motivation. But, one of the biggest issues is the lack of fresh ingredients. With the ground frozen and the cold bitter air, there are fewer options for produce, especially if you typically buy from local farms and markets.
Still, one ingredient we can always count on to get us through the harsh winter months is squash. With a tough outer skin, squash is one of the only vegetables that can withstand the cold temperatures. Harvested year round, the outer layer allows it stay fresh longer, therefore, you should be able to find it in any grocery store.
For all they have to offer us, we tend to overlook the types of squash that are widely available. Yes, there are more than just pumpkin and spaghetti squash, so when you are planning future meals and recipes, you can try all kinds of squash all winter long.
How They Look: This squash is extremely sweet and tender with a slightly nutty flavor. Similar to cantaloupe size, it can be red or green.
How They Cook: The flesh inside of this squash is so tasty that little preparation is required. It can be sliced or roasted, used in soups and stews or even pureed.
How They Look: As the name suggests, this squash is small with sweet flesh. They can come in green with some white, resembling the carnival squash.
How They Cook: Because of its size, this squash is perfect for stuffing, slicing and baking.
How They Look: Also known as white acorn squash, this hybrid arrived years ago. With an oval shape, it is white inside and out.
How They Cook: A healthy alternative to mashed potatoes, used with some organic butter and salt, this can be served with a great Thanksgiving meal.
How They Look: This squash is shaped like a teardrop, slightly lumpy and the skin must be peeled. The flesh is a little dry and smooth, but great for many meals.
How They Cook: With a slight chestnut flavor, this squash is delicious for soup, sautéing or stir-fry.
How They Look: Native to Long Island, this squash is long, large, and has a beautiful lobed pumpkin shape. It has also smooth, but tawny skin.
How They Cook: The flesh is dense and savory, therefore, this squash is best for soup, pie or even a bisque.
How They Look: Similar to the butternut squash, this squash is small, dark and far sweeter. It also has a smooth, thin and edible skin.
How They Cook: Ideal for stuffing and roasting, this squash is great for desserts.
How They Look: A cross between acorn and sweet dumpling, this squash has unique and edible skin.
How They Cook: Nutty with a hint of maple, this squash is best for salads, sides or even stuffed. It can also be grated and used raw.
How They Look: Fairly small and lobed, this squash has thin edible skin, making it an essential part for a Thanksgiving meal.
How They Cook: Since it is fairly sweet, this squash is best when sliced and roasted.