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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Photo of Winter squash

Winter squash

Autumn, Winter

Description: Most have yellow or orange flesh. Butternut and acorn are two popular varieties. Spaghetti squash becomes like long strands of spaghetti upon cooking.

Selection: Choose hard winter squash that feels heavy for its size and has an intact stem.

Storage and handling: Store in a cool, dry place for several weeks. Wash before cutting.

Preparation: Cut squash in half and remove seeds. (To make this easier, pierce squash and microwave 1-2 minutes.) Butternut squash can be peeled before cooking. Bake with cut sides down in a pan with a little water, at 400F / 200C for 30 minutes. Bake spaghetti squash whole, pricking with a fork first, 40-90 minutes at 350F / 180C. Steam peeled squash chunks in a basket, covered, over boiling water, 15-20 minutes. Boil unpeeled chunks of squash until soft, about 20 minutes. Microwave in a covered dish; halved squash takes 12-13 minutes, squash chunks about 8 minutes. Microwave spaghetti squash whole (poke a few holes in the skin first), 15 minutes.

Preparation: Flavor cooked squash with brown sugar or maple syrup and butter, or olive oil and herbs. Cooked spaghetti squash can be used like pasta. Squash halves can be stuffed (SIS, p. 208).

Nutrients (when cooked): Varies; most varieties are high in Vitamins A and C, potassium, alpha- and beta-carotene antioxidants, fiber.

1 lb raw = 2 cups diced
1 lb cooked = 1 cup

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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