So, National Pumpkin Day is almost here . . . uhm, really? Really? As if, AS IF pumpkin really needs to be showered with any more love than it already gets?!* I think it’s high time we all spread the #squashlove, so I put together this handy guide to identifying some of the squashes typically stocked at your local market. If sweater-weather has got you in the mood for some hearty squash dishes, refer to this handy guide to ensure you find the best squash to get your fix!
(* Okay, no judgment from me if you have your heart set on pumpkin. I get it. Here’s my recipe for Protein-Packed Pumpkin Spice Smoothie.)
Squashes are a good source of beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. It’s a timely immune system boost just as flu and cold season hits!
Delicata and kabocha have a creamy texture and mild sweetness that is perfectly highlighted by roasting (and the skin is edible on both!). You can grab my recipe for Roasted Delicata Squash here.
Also, kabocha and delicata are easier to cut than butternut. Kabocha looks very similar to buttercup squash, and are easily confused (you have to peek at the bottom of the squash to really see the difference – google pics to check it out so you can spot the difference). For what it’s worth, I am not a fan of buttercup at all. I find buttercup squash to be very watery and rather bland.
Spaghetti squash is my go-to for a neutral flavored squash that works nicely in casseroles (like buffalo chicken casserole, and also good in an enchilada-sauced casserole).
For pureed squash soups, butternut is my numero uno. It’s also delicious roasted, and is a perfect pairing with a rich sausage or bratwurst and greens for a quick and easy sheet pan dinner. Check out my Creamy Butternut Squash Soup recipe if you’re jonesing for the ultimate pureed, fall squash soup.
Acorn squash‘s texture and mild flavor are a good choice for if you’re making stuffed squash (plus, that shape just somehow screams fall, doesn’t it?).
Sugar pumpkins are a bit sweeter, firmer, and less stringy than your typical carving pumpkin. They’re suitable for roasting or pureeing. If pureeing to use in a baked good, keep in mind that the consistency will be slightly less thick/condensed than canned pumpkin.
What are your favorites? Which squashes are on your shopping list this week? How many of these six types have you tried?