Winter squash come in several varieties, and at Green Earth we grow our favorites: sugar pie pumpkin, butternut, acorn, delicata, and spaghetti. They are closely related to summer squash, but have thicker skin and more developed seeds. Winter squash have been in cultivation for about 8,000 years!
Pie Pumpkins: Also called sugar pie pumpkins, are not the same as the pumpkins you carve for Halloween. While they are orange, they are smaller with a sweeter taste and less fibrous flesh.
Butternut: Butternut squash is shaped like a bottle, with a long neck and a short bulbous end. Its skin is a dull tan color, and its flesh is bright orange, with a dense, moist texture and buttery, nutty, sweet flavor. The seeds and pulp are situated down toward the bulbous end, which means that the long “neck” of the fruit consists of all flesh.
Acorn: Acorn squash has a deep-green exterior and flesh that’s yellow-orange, with a mildly sweet, nutty flavor.
Delicata: Delicata is thinned-skin, cylindrical in shape and features pale-yellow skin with green stripes. When cooked, its orange flesh tastes similar to sweet potatoes.
Spaghetti: Spaghetti squash is cylindrical in shape with yellow or orange skin. Once cooked, you can scrape the flesh into strings that resemble spaghetti noodles—except they have about 165 fewer calories and 30 fewer carbohydrates per cup!
Winter squash will keep for 1-2 months or more when stored in a cool (~50 degrees), dark place. Delicata is an exception as it will only store for ~10 days due to its thinner–and edible– skin! Check regularly for any damage or soft spots on all your squash.
The easiest way to prepare winter squash is with the skin on. Wash the squash first to remove any soil. Slice it in half by cutting off each end, making a lead cut down the middle, and then rocking the squash back and forth to cut all the way through. Scoop out seeds (save for roasting!) and coat the flesh in your oil of choice. Place it flesh side down on a baking dish. Once cooked, squash can be added to soups, stews, casseroles and more! For a quick and easy cooking method, poke a number of small holes in the skin of the quash, and pop it in the microwave!