Fall is here and that means it’s time to start eating winter squash! Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash, just to name a few, are not only full of flavor but are packed with fiber and good nutrition.

Although winter squash is typically available year round at the grocery store, there is something about having delicious hearty squash during the cooler months of the year. Winter squash is super versatile, and these days people are coming up with some ingenious uses to make meals more nutritious. In addition to adding winter squash to soups, roasting for salads and whipping it up as a side dish, squash is taking on a new role as a pasta alternative.

Slice butternut squash into thin sheets and use as a lasagna noodle replacement. Try a zoodle maker to have spaghetti shaped vegetable noodles, which can be made with any type of squash. Continue reading to learn more about spaghetti, acorn and butternut squash and different ways to prepare them.

 

Spaghetti Squash

I want to share with you the easiest way to prepare spaghetti squash, and all you need is a microwave, a microwavable dish, cling wrap and water! First, when selecting a spaghetti squash choose one that is firm and heavy for its size and that has an intact stem. Avoid squash with any type of crack or holes.

1

Carefully slice your beautiful spaghetti squash in half after washing. This is literally the hardest part of preparing your squash (you can even microwave whole for 1-2 minutes to help soften)! Remove the seeds and place open side down in a microwave safe dish.

2

Pour in ½ cup – ¾ cup water into the dish depending on if you selected a smaller or larger spaghetti squash.

3

Cover the dish really well with cling wrap and microwave for 12-14 minutes, again depending on size.

4

Once the squash is out of the microwave, let it sit for a minute or two to ensure that everything is softened through and cooked.

5

Last, using a fork, scrape out the flesh of the squash and watch the magic happen! The spaghetti squash will come out in thin spaghetti-like pieces that goes perfectly with your favorite pasta sauce! Spaghetti squash is naturally a perfect pasta replacement!

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Simply Steamed Spaghetti Squash

by Caitilin Perez, RDN

2-6 SERVINGS (depending on size of squash)

 

INGREDIENTS

1 spaghetti squash

½ c. – ¾ c. water

 

DIRECTIONS

1) Wash outside of squash with water. Slice squash in half and remove seeds.

2) Place open side down in a microwavable dish. Add ½ cup – ¾ cup water. Cover well with cling wrap.

3) Microwave for 12-14 minutes. Let sit for 1-2 minutes.

4) Using a fork scrape out flesh. You should be left with an empty ‘shell’.

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Try topping your spaghetti squash with our Quick Kale Almond Pesto or our Low Sodium Italian Tomato Sauce

 

NOURISHING NUTRITION (per 1 cup serving)

Calories: 30

Fat (g): 0

Sodium (mg): 17

Protein (g): 1

Carbs (g): 7

 

Acorn Squash

This is another favorite squash of mine to prepare in the Fall months and it is sure to become one of yours too! Acorn squash pairs deliciously with sweet and warm flavors, just like the recipe below.

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Select an acorn squash that is heavy for its size. Start by slicing your washed squash in half and removing the seeds. Don’t throw away those seeds! Sort and rinse the acorn squash seeds, toss in your favorite spices and a little oil, then roast at 300 for 30-45 minutes. Just like pumpkin seeds, little beauties are full of fiber and are a great addition to soups, salads and even just as a snack!

1

Place your squash cut side up in a oven safe baking dish. If your squash doesn’t sit flat, slice off a thin piece of the rhine to create a flat surface. Did you know a whole acorn squash rolls in at only 175-200 calories?!

2

Top each piece of acorn squash with the cinnamon, 100% maple syrup and walnuts. Yum! The sugar and spice, along with the crunchy walnuts is a winning combination.

3

Bake for 1 hour, until the flesh of the acorn squash is fork tender. Cut each piece in half to create 4 servings. Sprinkle with a dash of salt to finish and enjoy!

 

Sugar & Spice Acorn Squash

By Caitilin Perez, RDN

4 SERVINGS

 

INGREDIENTS

1 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed

2 tbsp. 100% maple syrup

2 tbsp. chopped walnuts

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 dash of salt

 

DIRECTIONS

1) Preheat oven to 350℉

2) Place prepared squash on a sheet pan and top each half with syrup, walnuts and cinnamon.

3) Bake for 1 hour, until squash is tender.

4) Slice squash so you have 4 equal portions, sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

 

NOURISHING NUTRITION (per serving)

Calories: 94

Fat (g): 2

Sodium (mg): 43

Protein (g): 1

Carbs (g): 20

 

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is not only full of Fall flavor, but super versatile and the perfect squash to transform into a beautiful soup. Look for our Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup below.

The same rules apply when selecting a butternut squash, select one that is heavy for its size and free from cracks. A lot of people have a hard time preparing butternut squash because of how hard the flesh can be as well the very thick skin. Below we are showing you a super simple solution to preparing butternut squash without having to do anything labor intensive!

4

Place your butternut squash into a large stock pot. No cutting or peeling necessary.

5

Cover the squash with water and set to a boil. Cover and cook for 1 hour in boiling water.

6

Next, carefully remove the butternut squash from the water (I like using tongs), and let it cool on a cutting board. Once cooled enough to handle, slice in half vertically and horizontally, remove seeds.

7

Turn pieces skin side up and simply scrape off skin with a spoon.  Check out another simple way to use butternut squash in the delicious and satisfying recipe below!

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Butternut Squash & Carrots Soup

By Caitilin Perez, RDN

~6 SERVINGS

 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium sized butternut squash (3c cooked)

1 c. onion, diced
1 c. carrot, chopped
3 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste if desired

 

DIRECTIONS

1) Pierce butternut squash with knife several times; microwave squash (whole) for 10 minutes.

2) In the meantime, sauté onion and carrot in oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

3) Stir in nutmeg and black pepper. Add vegetable broth.

4) Carefully peel softened butternut squash, cut into chunks and remove seeds.

5) Add squash to pot. Bring soup to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

6) Process soup until smooth consistency with immersion blender; can also use a stand blender or food processor (be careful, it’s hot!)

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Try a hot bowl of soup with our Roasted Red Pepper Veggie Panini or our Vegan Black Bean Burgers

 

NOURISHING NUTRITION (per 1 cup serving)

Calories: 79

Fat (g): 2

Sodium (mg): 295

Protein (g): 3

Carbs (g): 13