Food

Squash: Recipes and Health Benefits! Perfect Timing!

Squash
Written by Angela Wallace

Eating seasonally in Ontario this time of year definitely includes a lot of squash!

Today I am sharing more about the different types of squash, their health benefits and some recipes on how  you can incorporate more squash into your meal routines. 

Eating in season helps support your gut microbiome (aka your friendly gut bacteria residing in your intestines). Your gut microbiome is everchanging (just like our seasons) and fall foods like orange squashes provide us with antioxidants needed to support immune health and fibre (prebiotics) needed to help foster a healthy gut environment. In addition, eating seasonally allows for peak nutrient quality and the best flavour. 

Beyond benefits that are health and nutrition based, eating local helps to reduce your carbon footprint (as the food hasn’t had to travel as far to get to you) and can help support our local farmers and sustainable eating. 

What are the different types of squashes and their benefits?

Acorn

This is one of my favourite squashes for stuffing and roasting. It is naturally sweet and rich in fibre, vitamin C, magnesium and B vitamins. 

Try this roasted acorn squash recipe

Butternut

This squash is great roasted and a perfect choice for baby food and soups. It is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C both of which are powerful antioxidants. We need antioxidants to support our immune system and keep us healthy. 

Try this butternut squash soup

Spaghetti 

As its name suggests it can be a great alternative choice to pasta. When cooked you can scrape out the insides with a fork to get spaghetti like squash ‘noodles.’ It isn’t as flavourful as acorn or butternut squash, which allows it to take up whatever flavours you are cooking with.

Try this spaghetti squash dish

Pumpkin 

I don’t know about you but I am a total pumpkin lover, when I like fall I think pumpkin (and pumpkin spice of course). Pumpkin is the perfect addition to healthy treats and their seeds are nutritious and easy to roast. Pumpkin is a great source of fibre and antioxidant beta-carotene (vitamin A). 

Try these pumpkin breakfast cookies

Bottom line: squash is in season here in Ontario, so take advantage, support your local farmers and have some fun in the kitchen. Squashes can be a hearty addition to your meals that are packed with nutrients your body needs over the fall/winter months, including fibre, vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants.

Cheers to happy and healthy eating!

Angela is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, family food expert, and certified personal trainer, specializing in women’s health, with a focus on weight loss and digestive conditions. She can be reached at angela@eatrightfeelright.ca

 

About the author

Angela Wallace

Angela is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, family food expert, and certified personal trainer. She specializes in women’s health, with a focus on weight loss and digestive conditions. Her ultimate goal is helping people find a balanced lifestyle and healthy relationship with food.

www.eatrightfeelright.ca

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