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Winter squash is a fruit, and in the same family as summer squash; however, summer squash is harvested while still quite young and tender, while winter squash is picked when more mature and at their tastiest. There is a wide variety of different shapes, sizes and textures of winter squash in which to choose, ranging from the sweet butternut squash, to the tangy spaghetti squash, to the nutty tasting Chicago Warted Hubbard squash.
This versatile squash is high in fiber, contains virtually no fat or sodium, and is jam packed with vitamins A, C, E, B-6, calcium, magnesium, thiamin, Omega 3’s, potassium, and niacin. Winter squash is perfect for anyone trying to lose weight, as it is high in fiber and low in calories, but creates the sensation of feeling full.
Dieticians recommend eating the ‘colors of the rainbow’ to prevent developing cancer, and since winter squash has deep yellows and oranges from phytochemicals, they strengthen your immune system. The sweeter winter squash can be sauteed with cinnamon, and of course spaghetti squash tastes heavenly with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. From savory soups to delicious salads, winter squash can be combined with quinoa or risotto, baked, roasted or mashed, or turned into a creamy dessert.
Having the honor of the being one of the Three Sisters, winter squash is distinctly American. The earliest natives would have had a hard time surviving without this hearty part of their diet, especially since it can be stored for long periods of time.
St. Clare’s Heirloom winter squash seeds will be a wonderful addition to your garden, but watch out for borers and squash bugs.
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