There are many varieties of Winter Squash and many many ways to cook each of them! Did you know that January is Winter Squash Month? To celebrate, you could have a totally different meal each day in January and never have the same type of food twice. LOL! In honor of this fun month, I have scoured the internet to find some yummy Winter Squash Month Recipes for you (and me) to put through the kid-friendly taste test!
Winter squash is one of winter’s wonderful seasonal vegetables that sometimes gets overlooked. Because it’s considered in season in fall and winter, winter squash is an affordable way to eat fresh, whole foods when the traditional growing season is over.
Of course, squash doesn’t grow in the middle of winter in temperate climates; but squash vines yield in late summer and early fall, and they keep so well that they continue to be available through the winter.
Winter squash comes in a variety of shapes, colors, and textures, some of them quite dramatic. Remember, no matter what variety of winter squash you’re using, the seeds can be roasted and eaten.
Winter Squash can actually be found all year long, (as can summer squash), but for fun sake here is a list of a few of the most popular winter squashes and some recipes to go along with them:
Why is squash popular to use in soup recipes?
Squash is a popular ingredient for all kinds of soup recipes due to its unique alkaline flavor and versatility in cooking. Its mild, sweet taste contrasts the savory spices often used in broths, making squash soups both delicious and nutritious.
Moreover, squash contains beneficial vitamins and minerals such as beta carotene, Vitamin C, magnesium, folate, manganese, and fiber.
The ability to add great flavor and nutrition together makes squash one of the top choices among cooks looking for a hearty yet healthy meal.
Does squash get sweeter once it’s cooked?
Squash is a popular vegetable with many culinary uses. It is often used in recipes as a main ingredient, as well as simply roasted or boiled for enjoyment.
An oft-debated question regarding squash is whether it becomes sweeter after being cooked. Research has shown that, depending on the type of squash and the method of preparation, some squashes do become sweeter after being cooked.
For example, acorn squash becomes exceptionally sweet once roasted or steamed and can also be enhanced with sweeteners such as brown sugar or syrup to bring out its best flavor.
All in all, whether squash gets sweeter upon cooking will depend on the type and preparation of the particular squash.
When is squash in season?
Squash is in season throughout summer and fall, particularly from July through October.
Each type of squash has a slightly different seasonality – butternut squash peaks in September, acorn squash ripens around September or October, and spaghetti squash is usually available in late fall.
Although you may find different varieties of squash in grocery stores year-round, buying them when they are freshly harvested will ensure you get the most flavorful and freshest vegetables for your dishes.
What toppings go well with squash soup recipes?
Squash has a naturally sweet flavor profile, making it a great base for creamy soup recipes. Topping squash soups with ingredients that play off the sweetness of the squash adds an extra layer of flavor and texture.
Chopped toasted nuts and fragrant herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, and oregano bring out the vibrance of this winter squash.
Crumbled bacon and shredded cheese are classic companions to squash soup, keeping the dish hearty and balanced.
An unexpected combination is tart cranberries which add a burst of bright freshness to any bowl of soup.
Finally, topping your soup with croutons or fried sage leaves will give it an appetizing crunch. With these different topping options, you can create a unique version of the beloved squash soup in no time!
Acorn Squash: Winter Squash Month Recipes
These pretty, dark-green squash are usually quite affordable and easy to find. They are particularly good cooked with apples in sautés, soups, and desserts.
Butternut Squash: Winter Squash Month Recipes
The sweet, orange flesh of butternut squash is reminiscent of sweet potato, and can be substituted for sweet potatoes in some recipes.
- Yummy, Lo-Cal Roasted! This is a recipe from Minnie and boy, she doesn’t disappoint!
- Butternut Squash, Pear, & Yogurt Soup – Such a yummy sounding sweet dish and oh so healthy!
- A healthy alternative to potato fries… these yummy Squash Fries!
- Here’s another, slightly different Butternut Squash Risotto recipe
- Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard recipe – so beautiful! I love all the colors in this dish – oh my… YUM!
- Squash & Sausage Chili – in Chili?? Why have I never considered that? Totally adding this to my “to try” pile!
- Cheddar Ale Soup – Oh yeah baby, this looks divine! Everything is better with cheddar! 🙂
Spaghetti Squash: Winter Squash Month Recipes
This is an interesting squash with noodle-like flesh that remains a bit crisp even after being cooked. It’s a low-carb way to enjoy tasty strands and increase your veggie intake.
- No point in reinventing the wheel – here is a collection of 15 spaghetti squash recipes! Enjoy 🙂
Do you have a favorite Winter Squash? What about a Winter Squash Month Recipe to go along with it?
Monday 20th of January 2014
What a great collection of Squash. We grow Squash here in our gardens and these will be great recipes to try with our home grown squash. Thanks so much for helping us celebrate Three Years at Full Plate Thursday. Have a good week and come back soon! Miz Helen
Saturday 18th of January 2014
Squash is a wonderful addition to any meal. It does get overlooked often, probably because it is seasonal and I bet a lot of people don't know much about cooking it. All of these recipes sound good!
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!
Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook
Wednesday 15th of January 2014
Thanks for the new ideas! One of our more innovative ways of eating winter squash is in burritos. http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2012/01/31/butternut-squash-burritos/
Monday 20th of January 2014
Monday 13th of January 2014
So many recipes to choose from! Also, thanks for including two of mine. Have a wonderful week.
Crystal & Co.
Monday 13th of January 2014
Winter squash has never looked so good!