An Autumn Guide to Winter Squash

It’s Squashtober—harvest season for a plethora of winter squash varieties. The arrival of these fall beauties makes the good-bye to summer tomatoes and lettuces a tad … bit … easier.

But let’s be honest: Aside from the celebrated butternut squash, most of us don’t know one winter squash variety from the next, let alone what to do with it.

Here’s a simple guide to the local squashes you’ll find in the Market this fall:

Sunshine Squash

Completely stringless, filled with succulent, ultra-sweet flesh with a nutty after bite you’ll love. The creamy-sweet flavor is brought out well when the fruit is baked, steamed, or even microwaved.

Buttercup Squash

Has a sweet and creamy orange flesh and is much sweeter than other winter varieties. Can be baked, mashed, steamed, stuffed or simmered, and can replace sweet potatoes in most recipes.

Delicata Squash

This squash is milder than and not as sweet as other winter squash, so it pairs well with hearty winter dishes. The thinner skin is barely detectable when cooked, so there’s no need to peel it!

Carnival Squash

The yellow meat is reminiscent of sweet potatoes and butternut squash. It can be baked or steamed, combined with butter and fresh herbs. Pierce whole squash in several places, and bake halved squash hollow side up.

Acorn Squash

It has a moist, tender flesh that’s distinctly nut-like, yet mild and sweet. It is traditionally halved, seeded, drizzled with maple syrup and roasted.

Butternut Squash

Has a deep orange flesh that is smooth and very sweet, similar to sweet potato and yam, with hints of butterscotch. This popular squash is amazingly versatile and easy to peel with a vegetable peeler.

Kombucha Squash

A Japanese staple ingredient that is known for its sweetness, velvety texture, and versatility. It looks like a pumpkin but tastes more like a sweet potato. Often used in soups and in recipes that call for acorn squash, butternut squash, or pumpkin.

Spaghetti Squash

The flesh is noodle-like in appearance and is often used as a pasta substitute (perfect for gluten-free diets). Like other squash, it can be halved and roasted; or you can roast it whole, slice it in half, and pull out the long squash “noodles.”

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