Come fall and winter, grocery stores and farmers markets begin selling pounds and pounds of beautiful winter squashes. These squashes come in all different colors, shapes, flavors, textures, and sizes, but what they all share is a bounty of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and health benefits. Whenever I go to my local farmers market, I always make sure to pick up a myriad of winter squashes, including acorn squash, butternut squash, kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, buttercup squash, and numerous others. They pair well with any number of dishes, and I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that they're both healthy and delicious. For those of you who are looking to incorporate some healthy main dishes or sides into your fall menu, here are three squashes you should definitely chow down on!
Perhaps the most popular of the winter squashes, acorn squash provides its eaters with a plethora of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Acorn squash is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids, amongst other useful nutrients. Aside from its health benefits, acorn squash is also easy to incorporate in any number of dishes, including desserts, pastas, stuffing, burgers, vegetable medleys, raviolis, soups, and numerous other savory and sweet dishes.
Butternut Squash Butternut squash is another delicious gourd you'll commonly see during the fall and winter. It contains a plethora of vital antioxidants and vitamins, such as Vitamin A, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and others. Like the acorn squash, butternut squash is also a delicious vegetable to incorporate into your fall menu. Its creamy texture makes it adaptable in desserts, entrees, and sides, including soups, casseroles, risottos, pastas, pies, salads, chili, and so forth.
Spaghetti Squash Similar to the acorn squash and butternut squash, spaghetti squash also packs in a lot of vitamins and minerals. It's high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is shown to prevent cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and several B vitamins are aplenty in this sizable squash. You can do a lot of things with spaghetti squash, but one of my favorite things to do with it is replace it with pasta noodles, since it's a much healthier alternative to high-carb noodles.
Fall is a tough time to stay healthy, with everything from pumpkin pie, cornbread stuffing, dinner rolls, and numerous other caloric treats being placed in front of us all the time. Incorporate these three squashes into your meals to stay fit and trim!
Brenda Watson is a researcher/writer for www.HealthInsuranceQuotes.org. Her articles cover topics ranging from how to find the best health insurance to women's health. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys running in the park and hanging out with her three-legged dog. Feel free to leave your comments and questions for her below.