What is This Odd Shaped Gourd & What Do I Do With it?

So many people lament the end of the fabulous fall season of fresh veggies, but I’m here to tell you: do not despair! The wonderfultime of winter squash has arrived!

Wintertime means hibernation for us mammals, which, for a lot of us, means weight gain. However, luckily for us, recent research has shown that the fiber in veggies such as winter squashes can help to squash (pardon the pun) those extra pounds.

Butternut, acorn, spaghetti, hubbard, delicata, and any other kind of winter squash are full of more than fiber. Carotenoids are key agents in vitamin A, as well as powerful antioxidants to fight against those nasty free radicals, and the bright colors of squash skin indicate that they are chock-full of them! They also promote heart and prostate health, and, of course, are just plain tasty.

Another great thing about squashes is that they keep really well for a long time. Because of their thick skins, they will stay fresh for up to three months when kept in a cool, dark place. Remember, unlike their summery counterparts, the skins of winter squashes are not typically edible, so be sure to remove them before eating up.

Here is a great recipe to warm your tummy for the upcoming months featuring my favorite gourd, the butternut squash.

  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 medium carrot (chopped)
  • 1 celery stalk       (chopped)
  • olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4-6 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 can of coconut milk
  • sea salt & coarse black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  1. saute onion, carrot and celery in olive oil (add salt and pepper)

2. chop butternut squash, starting with the neck, and cut away the skin. Add to onion mixture.

3.  Add broth, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

4. Stir in coconut milk and heat through.

5. Season with cayenne pepper, eat and enjoy.

Also, here are some variations that are worth trying.

1. Delete the coconut milk and add pureed apple sauce to the soup and top with crumbled blue cheese and toasted almonds. (you’ll thank me later)

2. Add Thai curry paste and fresh grated ginger for a little Thai version

3. Make it a little southwest with some chipotles in adobo sauce.

Let me know what you think. What do you think of the variations?

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