Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
Hy-Vee at Midday: 'tis the Season for Squash
By Susannah LeVon, Hy-Vee Dietitian
Fall brings the new crop of hard-shelled squash to the grocery store. These winter squash add an abundance of super nutrients to any meal. Orange-fleshed squashes are especially high in beta-carotene, a nutrient important for healthy skin, immune system and night vision. A half-cup of cooked orange-flesh winter squash provides about 50 calories, a nutritional bargain.
Squash is easy to cook by following the cooking tips below:
Get squash ready to use in a wide assortment of recipes from soup to dessert by baking, steaming or boiling. Roasting enhances squash's natural sweetness.
Bake: Cut in half, remove seeds and place cut-side down in a baking dish. Bake at 350° F or microwave on high until tender. Scoop flesh for recipes using cooked squash.
Roast: Cut into chunks, peel cut off, toss with olive oil and seasonings. Place on a foil-lined shallow baking pan and roast at 475°F for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Roast until they're fork-tender.
Steam or boil: Cook peeled chunks in a small amount of simmering water or in a steamer until tender. Season and serve.
Winter Squash Primer:
Butternut: Tan shell makes these easy to spot. Similar in flavor and texture to sweet potatoes.
Acorn: Looks like a large green acorn. Sweet buttery yellow-orange flesh.
Buttercup: Dark green shell with lighter green spots. Deep-yellow flesh with slightly nutty flavor
Spaghetti: Stringy flesh resembles cooked spaghetti. Use as a very low-calorie alternate to pasta dishes.
Whether you prefer sweet or savory, winter squash fits both tastes. Try these flavorful recipe featuring buttercup and butternut squash.
Quick & EZ Buttercup Squash with Pesto and Tomatoes
Serves 4 Source: Created by Amy Scheuerell, Hy-Vee dietitian
All you need:
1 (2- to 4-pound) buttercup or amber buttercup squash
¼ cup Classico® basil pesto or Classico® tomato pesto
¼ cup World Classics tomato bruschetta
OR ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, and then sliced in halves
Optional: panko breadcrumbs, for topping
All you do:
1. Wash squash. Poke a few holes in outer shell.
2. Microwave on HIGH about 15-20 minutes or until outer shell is pliable enough to be flexed with your thumb. (CAUTION: SQUASH WILL BE VERY HOT.)
3. Carefully remove squash from microwave. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seed cavities. Place squash halves on a microwave-safe dish.
4. Add pesto and bruschetta (or tomatoes) to the seed cavities.
5. Place squash back in microwave. Cover with paper towel. Cook on HIGH for an additional 1–2 minutes.
6. Carefully remove squash from microwave. Top with panko breadcrumbs if desired, and serve.
Crock Pot Butternut Squash TOP CUSTOMER FAVORITE FROM PAST YEARS!
Serves: 6 | Hy-Vee dietitians
All you need:
2 ½ lbs. butternut squash
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 ½ lbs. Granny Smith apples
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. ginger
1 tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
All you do:
1. Cut squash in half. Remove seeds and fibers from center of squash with a spoon. Cut squash into quarters (for easier peeling); peel squash (a sharp knife will work more easily than a peeler). Cut squash into 1-inch slices.
2. Core apples and cut into 1-inch pieces.
3. In a medium bowl mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, ginger and ground cloves.
4. Layer one half of the squash in the bottom on a 4- to 5-quart crockpot. NOTE: Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray for easier cleaning later on!
5. Top with half of the apple slices and half of the sugar/
flour/spice mixture. Repeat layers.
6. Cover crockpot and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or on HIGH for 2-½ hours.