The name squash does not sound all that appetizing to me. In fact, it actually makes the muscles in my face frown a little bit.
Like a bug...
Even pumpkin pie took me a long time to come around to liking.
What I have discovered over the past few years is that squash are amazing plants! Squash, like tomatoes and avocados, are technically fruit because of their inner seeds. However are most frequently classified as vegetables in preparing meals.
These plants are often used as a substitute as a low carbohydrate or gluten free option. Zucchini and spaghetti squash are great imitators for noodles. Spiralizing zucchini to make a noodle-like dish like spaghetti or Lo Mein. Or slicing the zucchini thin to layer to create a baked dish.
I prefer spaghetti squash because it requires significantly less work prior to cooking to get that same stringed noodle effect. The most difficult part of the spaghetti squash is slicing the squash in half, long-ways. The shell is often thick and hard. It requires significant muscle to cut through. But once it is cut in half, the only other prep work is drizzling the inside with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper. The halves are then place on a baking sheet cut side down. Roast at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Once fully roasted, the inside of the squash is easily scraped out with a fork. Resembling spaghetti noodles.
Don’t be fooled. These vegetables do not taste like flour noodles. They maintain a crunch like a roasted vegetable. But with the olive oil, salt, and pepper they are a satisfying replacement for those needing to decrease their carbohydrates or avoid gluten protein.
Butternut squash and Acorn squash add sweetness to dishes making them appetizing to many. However, I am careful to make these squash because of their tendency to be mushy. I am not a “mushy” vegetable person.
It’s okay. We all have our thing.
I have made acorn squash twice. A friend told me about a dinner she made, stuffed acorn squash. The picture she posted on social media looked amazing. I asked her for the the recipe. The next week, I added acorn squash to my grocery list. I followed her recipe, while the flavor was delicious the texture was undesirable. I couldn’t get past the mushiness.
Of course, I had over bought on acorn squash at the store because it was on sale. A sale always gets me!
What to do with these leftover squash that still need to be prepared?
We really like roasted vegetables. To Google I went to find how to roast the acorn squash. I found a recipe that even included maple syrup! However, I still thought the acorn squash was over cooked.
I have not given up on this type of squash, I just asked Google about air frying acorn squash. This type of preparation sounds like what will redeem this version of squash for me. I am excited to try it!
I love that I have access to so many different recipes that I can try until I find something that I really enjoy!
Another squash that I had a similar experience with was butternut squash. My first experience was a frozen steam bag.
No, thank you!
The next time I tried it frozen in a protein shake. This time, the fault might not have been the butternut squash. It could have been that my blender was unable to fully provide a smooth blend. But I was not impressed.
However, I recently came across a recipe using butternut squash in replacement of flour noodles in lasagna. The flavor created from sweetness of the butternut squash and savoriness of the meat, pasta sauce, and mozzarella cheese was satisfying and delightful. The butternut squash steamed had been mushy and lacked flavor, but roasted with the other flavors enhanced the sweetness while maintaining a roasted vegetable texture.
Maybe you are still unsure about these vegetable. I encourage to continue to try new things particularly cooking new foods. My first experience with any type of squash remains a favorite of mine- Zucchini bread. Although this may not be the healthiest way to consume zucchini it was an introduction.
From there I moved to sauteing zucchini and summer squash followed by roasting. It was just the beginning of me deciding what I liked and how I like things.
Today, give yourself the permission to be opinionated and allow your opinion to direct your trying new foods and ways to prepare food. With the endless information on the internet you are not required to be an expert. But the only way you will know your opinion is to try.
Learn how to cook–Julia Child
Try new recipes
Learn from your mistakes,
and above all