Squash and Cinnamon and a Cozy Blanket

December 2, 2016Uncategorized Standard

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I have a few confessions to make. I love cinnamon. I love it all year long and annoy everyone by putting it in the coffee pot in the morning, but I love it the most this time of year. I love it because right now, the whole house smells of cinnamon,maple syrup and the Red Kuri squash that is in the oven as I write this. ( I also have some hot red pepper on there for that perfect blend of savory and sweet. ) Another confession is that my family barely tolerates my seasonal squash frenzy.. except for Spaghetti Squash, which even the kids adore, prepared either with a full on red pasta sauce or just butter and grated cheese and lots of freshly ground pepper.   Just seeing a list of their names makes me feel like getting under a cozy blanket with a cup of tea and a bowl of Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Kabocha, Pumpkin, Red Kuri, Turban!  There. Don’t you just want to snuggle up between the holidays and enjoy them too?

 

For those of you Foodie Freaks who revel in detail, here are some quick facts about these luscious hard squash:

  • They have super powers! (You can knit them little capes)
  • They are rich in carotenes, Alpha and Beta.
  • The darker the color of the rind, the more carotenes there are inside
  • They can help regulate blood sugar
  • They are loaded with Vitamins A and C.
  • They are an anti-inflammatory.
  • They are loaded with Potassium too

 

The native squashes of Central America were cultivated for their seeds, and those are still a popular snack in our house, going back to my childhood when you could hear each of us with our little bowl of pumpkin seeds, munching away as we watched TV.   Now that I am the mommy, I take time to separate the pulp from the seeds when we are preparing any squash that has a decent sized seed and roast them lightly so that we retain all those healthy Omega Oils.  If you’d like to do the same, put the separated seeds on a cookie sheet in a single layer and put them in the oven at about 160 – 170 degrees for just about fifteen to twenty minutes.  We sometimes sprinkle tamari or other spices on ours, so feel free to experiment with the flavors you like best.

 

Here are a few more interesting facts about this ancient vegetable:

  • They store well and last from a week to six months if kept in a cool dry place.
  • A good squash feels heavier than you expect it to be when you lift it

 

My squash is ready now and so am I. Off to enjoy a super healthy dinner on this cool Florida night.  Hope you enjoy them too!

 

 

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