By Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger
Fall and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is a wonderful time to explore the many varieties of squash that are both delicious and nutritious.
While we are tempted with more unhealthy treats and desserts this time of year, choose a squash and feel good about it!
Acorn, butternut, pumpkin, and spaghetti squash make versatile additions to your menu. Benefits include: low calorie, low fat, high fiber, and good sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and iron. What’s not to like?
Here are tips for choosing and cooking squash:
- Acorn Squash
- Choosing and Storing: Choose an acorn squash that is firm and free of blemishes. Store acorn squash in a cool, dry place such as a pantry. You can keep acorn squash for at least one month.
- What does it taste like? Acorn squash has a nutty flavor. You can even eat the skin!
- How to use it: You can bake, sauté, roast, steam, and microwave acorn squash.
- Butternut Squash
- Choosing and storing: Choose a firm, heavy squash with no soft spots or cracks.
- What does it taste like? Butternut squash is sweet.
- How to use it: You can roast or sauté butternut squash. Butternut squash is a delicious base for soup.
- Choosing and storing: Choose pumpkins grown for eating such as sugar pumpkins, sweet pumpkins, heirloom varieties, or cheese pumpkins. They will typically be marked as pumpkins for eating.
- Flavor: Pumpkins for eating have a sweet, earthy flavor.
- How to use it: You can bake, roast, and puree pumpkin and use in soups, curries, and, of course, in pie!
- Choosing and storing: Choose a spaghetti squash that is firm and heavy and with no spots. You can store in a cool, dry place for up to one month.
- Flavor: Spaghetti squash is chewy with a mild flavor. It is not sweet.
- How to use it: Roast or steam it, then scrape out the strands. You can top spaghetti squash with marinara or pesto, like you would spaghetti.
Acorn Squash: 1 cup cubed = 56 calories, 0 g fat, 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 mg sodium, 25% vitamin C, 13% potassium, 11% magnesium, 10% vitamin A, 10% vitamin B6, 5% iron.
Butternut Squash: 1 cup cubed = 63 calories, 0 g fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 2.8 g fiber, 6 mg sodium, 297% vitamin A, 48% vitamin C, 14% potassium, 12% magnesium, 6% calcium, 5% iron.
Pumpkin: 1 cup cubed = 30 calories, 0 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate, .6 g fiber, 1 mg sodium, 197% vitamin A, 17% vitamin C, 11% potassium, 5% vitamin B6, 4% iron, 3% magnesium.
Spaghetti Squash: 1 cup = 31 calories, 0 g fat, 7 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fiber, 17 mg sodium, 5% vitamin B6, 3% potassium, 3% magnesium, 3% vitamin C, 2% vitamin A, 2% calcium.
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229087/roasted-acorn-squash-soup/
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 157 calories, 7 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 271 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 49% vitamin A, 32% vitamin C, 8% calcium, 7% iron, 21% potassium.
Simple Roasted Butternut Squash: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229733/simple-roasted-butternut-squash/
Nutrition Information per serving: 127 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat, 40 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 135% vitamin A, 26% vitamin C, 9% potassium.
Spaghetti Squash Boats: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/spaghetti-squash-boats
Nutrition Information per 1 cup: 102 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 246mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein.
Pumpkin Soup: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9191/pumpkin-soup/
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 118 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 20 mg sodium, 278 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein, 205% vitamin A, 7% vitamin C.
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity and Two Rivers YMCA. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|