Our Favorite Winter Squashes
I’m partial to butternut squash. They are easy to grow and prepare, and are moist and meaty. But just about all winter squash — acorn, pumpkin, Hubbard, buttercup — are healthy picks. Many of the health benefits of squash can be attributed to their carotenoids, the yellow, orange and red antioxidant pigments that help fight cancer and heart disease. A one cup serving has more than 7,000 IU of carotenoids — more than a day’s worth! Winter squash are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, trace minerals like copper and manganese, and even contain some anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. They’re also typically low in toxic residues and unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
I usually use canned pumpkin for pies, muffins and cakes. I like the consistency and convenience, and it’s just about as healthy as fresh. But I prefer fresh squash for curries, stews and soups, even risotto, because you can dice it, slice it or cube it.