Squash- Winter –

Scientific Name and Common Name

Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita argyrosperma, Cucurbita pepo, Curcubita moschata

Butternut, Acorn, Banana, Buttercup, Carnival, Delicata, Gold Nugget, Gem, Georgia candy roaster, Hubbard, Jarrahdale pumpkin, Kabocha, Lakota, Long Island cheese squash, Marina di Chioggia, Pumpkins, Queensland Blue, Red Kuri, Rouge vif d’Estampes, Spaghetti squash, Sugar loaf, Sweet Dumpling, Turban … there are more.

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About –

Winter squash is a summer-growing annual vegetable representing several species within the genus Cucurbita. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. At this stage, most varieties of this fruit can be stored for use during the winter. It is generally cooked before eating.

Because squash is a frost-tender vegetable, the seeds do not germinate in cold soil. Most squash seed require a minimum soil temperature of 15°C to germinate, or about 60 F. They are also easily destroyed by frost. It is therefore necessary to plant after the soil is thoroughly warmed and all sign of frost has passed.

Winter squash can be harvested whenever the fruits have turned a deep, solid color and the skin is hard. Most of the crop is harvested in September or October (Northern Hemisphere), before heavy frosts hit the planting area. When cutting squash from the vine, two inches of stem should remain attached if possible. Cuts and bruises should be avoided when handling. Fruits that are not fully mature, have been injured, have had their stems knocked off, or have been subjected to heavy frost do not keep and should be used as soon as possible or be composted (watch for seedlings in the compost).

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Uses, Cultural and Nutritional Information-

Winter squash is a good source of complex carbohydrates such as starch, and also fiber.
It is an excellent source of vitamin A, a great source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese, and a good source of folate, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1 (thiamin), copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). It is also a source of niacin, iron and beta carotene. Usually, the darker the skin is, the higher the beta carotene content.

Organic CSA farm winter squash

Recipes –

Delicata Fries ~ from Shari Sirkin

  • 4 delicata squash
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • A few Tblspns of your favorite herbs (fresh or dried) minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Wash the squash, then cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into ½-inch slices. Delicata squash skins are edible! No need to peel.
  3. Place the slices in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add sea salt, fresh ground pepper, your favorite herbs and garlic. Mix everything together well so that squash pieces are well coated.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash on the sheet in a single layer. Roast for about 30 minutes until tender and slightly browned.
  5. Serve squash warm from the oven with your favorite sauce, or enjoy them plain. They are delicious!

 

Butternut Squash Soup ~  Love Farm Organics

  • 1 peeled butternut squash
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 chopped shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tbs. butter or oil
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 6 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
  1. Cut peeled squash into quarters and boil until fork-tender. Drain and coat them in butter/oil.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add butter/oil and the chopped shallots. Salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about a minute until fragrant.
  3. In a food processor, puree the squash with the oil/butter then transfer to the large saucepan with the garlic and shallots.
  4. Add the broth and mix in spices until well incorporated. Salt to taste. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  5. Lastly add the cream. Gently stir until the soup is warmed through.
  6. Serve in bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a dollop of plain yogurt.