Second Post: Sweet Sour Sesame Red Cabbage
Third Post: Thai Stir Fry with Chicken and Butternut Squash
So easy to store and prepare, winter squash adds color, flavor and nutrients to any fall or winter meal. One of my family-favorite ways to serve up winter squash is baked and drizzled with tangy-sweet honey sour cream.
The thick outer skin of winter squash protects the quality of the product much longer than summer squash. And that makes for convenient long-term storage. Perishability is often cited as a barrier to keeping the home larder stocked with vegetables, but squash is one you can easily stock for last-minute plans. If you have a cool storage place (50-60o F) in your home (either the garage or basement), you can store winter squash up to three months.
Orange on the plate usually indicates the presence of carotenoids, powerful plant-based antioxidants. In general, winter squash contains more nutrients, including vitamins such as beta carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), than its less colorful cousin, summer squash. In addition to being an excellent source of beta carotene, winter squash is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, folate and fiber. OK, enough with the nutrition lesson, on to culinary pursuits.
With a quick cook time, squash is ready for the table in less than an hour. I prefer baking squash over other cooking methods, because the sugars are carmelized in the baking process, giving a browned sweet taste. I purchased a lovely ambercup squash from the Boulder County Farmers' Market to feature in this post, but you can use a number of other squashes suitable for baking: butternut, buttercup, carnival, etc.
Preparation Time: 45-60 minutes
1 medium to large winter squash (butternut, buttercup, ambernut, carnival, etc.)
2 T olive oil
1/8 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/2 c sour cream (Check out my post on homemade sour cream.)
1 T honey
Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350o F. Wash the squash thoroughly, and slice in half vertically. Trim off any remaining stem from the squash. Remove the seeds and fiber with a spoon.
Rub entire surface (inside and outer skin) of both halves with olive oil. Sprinkle inner portion with salt and pepper. Coat portion of 9 x 13 baking pan where cut squash will touch. Place squash halves on the baking pan, cut side down. Using a fork, pierce outer skin in several places.
While squash is baking, place sour cream and honey in a small bowl and mix with a fork or whisk.
Per-serving Nutritional Profile:
Fat, 6 g
Saturated Fat, 2 g
Cholesterol, 5 mg
Carbs, 11 g
Dietary Fiber, 3 g
Protein, 1 g
Sodium, 60 mg
Vitamin A, 100% Daily Value
Vitamin C, 15% Daily Value
Calcium, 4% Daily Value
Iron, 2% Daily Value