31 January 2024

Ode To Winter Squash – 2024 Edition

There are so many reasons to love winter squash – let us count the ways:

  1. Easy to prepare. Cut in half, scoop the seeds, and roast, bake, broil, saute, boil, or steam.
  2. They are nutrient powerhouses! Winter squash contain beneficial sources of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, manganese and antioxidants, specifically carotenoids, which have proven properties that help fight cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Also wonderful for supporting your gut’s microbiome.
  3. A long storage life. Depending on the type, squash can last 2 to 6 months when stored at the ideal temperature of 50 – 60F degrees.
  4. Versatility. There are so many ways squash can be used. Roasted simply with EVOO and S&P to be featured in baked goods, soups, stews, dals, salads, and pickles.
  5. There are so many different varieties to choose from! Each kind has a unique shape, color, flavor, and best way to eat them.

The following are some of the winter squash varieties available locally (now in February), how to prepare them along with some recipes recommended by our staff and local community members:

But first, a few tips on general winter squash preparation…

  • Always be sure to wash the exterior well before preparing/cooking.
  • Cutting and peeling are two of the trickiest parts of preparing a large squash. Check out these methods to help make prep easier:
    • First and most important, skip the peeling – the skin on many of these squash is edible. If the skin needs to be peeled, roast the squash and scoop out the flesh.
    • Bake the squash for 10 minutes at 400F, then remove to cut and finish roasting.
    • Microwave squash partially, for around 4 – 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and roast.
    • Bake it whole for about 1 hour.  Before cutting, prick squash a few times with a knife to let steam release. Then cut, remove seeds, scoop out flesh and proceed with the recipe.




Green Kabocha


  • About: Japanese for iron helmet, this hardy squash is a hybrid of Kabocha and Butternut and is known for its long term storage. The flesh is not quite as sweet as a butternut, but when roasted, its earthy flavor develops rich notes of hazelnut and browned butter.
  • How to use it: Scrub the exterior clean, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Then cut into slices for roasted or steaming.
  • Recipes

Red Kabocha

Red Kuri


  • About: When you cook the squash, the moist flesh develops strands that resemble spaghetti (hence the name). Tender, fragile texture, and a very mild flavor.
  • Uses: Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Bake or roast, then scrape out the strands. A terrific low-carb, gluten-free replacement for pasta – top with marinara, pesto, parmesan cheese, or mix in other veggies.
  • Recipes


Recipes that use any kind of winter squash:


And don’t forget to save the squash seeds and toast them!