We have squash!

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Fall just started, and that means we have starting to get our annual deluge of squash from local farmers. For the past while, people have been eligible to get up to one squash per person in their household, which is a pretty high quota for us. We have had many varieties, including familiar ones like butternut, pumpkin, and acorn, as well as some that may be new for people, like ambercup, spaghetti, kabocha, and turban.

The secret about squash is that although there are differences in the moisture and sugar levels, you can use most varieties for any squash recipe. Squash is great to give out in hampers because one or two will feed several people, or one person several times. Squash are nutritious, filled with fibre and antioxidants, and store for a long time in your pantry. To help people who come in for hampers take squash, which can be intimidating if you’ve never been taught how to cook one, we’re giving out lots of recipes and tips.

Our squash display in the lobby

If you’ve never tried to cook squash before, you’re in for a treat! It’s super easy to cook, as most recipes just call for roasted or mashed squash. Here are a few of our favourite squash recipes for you to try at home.

Basic roasted winter squash

What you need:

-One whole squash

-Your favourite toppings, such as butter, olive oil, garlic, cinnamon, curry powder, maple syrup, or honey (optional)

What do I do?

The easiest way to cook squash is simply to cut it in half, remove the seeds with a spoon, and roast it in the oven until it’s tender. Then you can scoop out the cooked squash and mash it, add it to soup, or simply eat it as is! To add some flavour, get creative. Before roasting, cover it with your favourite toppings. I like to use curry powder and some olive oil and syrup or honey. You can also roast whole garlic cloves in the cavity of the squash–their flavour really mellows out after cooking in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the squash until tender when pierced with a fork. Depending on the size of the squash and the variety, this could take 35-45 minutes. This works best with kabocha, acorn, or butternut squash.

When its done, eat it as is or use in your favourite squash soup recipe.

Pasta sauce

What you need:

-1 Squash

-Cooking oil

-1 Onion

-2 Whole garlic cloves with skin on (or more if you really love garlic!)

-About 1 cup water, milk, or cream

-Your favourite herbs or spices

What do I do?

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the squash with a sturdy knife or vegetable peeler and cut into 1 inch chunks. Roast the garlic, squash, and onion with some salt and pepper in a baking dish for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Add your favourite herbs–I really love sage with this, but whatever you like would be delicious. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth, adding some cream, milk, or water until it reaches your desired consistency.  Add to cooked pasta and you have a great meal!  If you’re short on time or don’t have access to a blender, adding the roasted mixture straight to pasta without blending is also delicious. This works best with ambercup, butternut, or kobacha squash, but other varieties would work well too. I made this using a large butternut squash and there was enough for two people, plus I froze two large containers of it for later.

We have tons of other recipes here, including ones for squash lasagna, squash soup, and even a few desserts. The best part about squash recipes is that they’re so versatile; you don’t need many fancy ingredients to make squash dishes, and you can use whatever spices you have in your cupboard to make it extra tasty.

Have a favourite squash recipe that’s easy to make? We’d love to hear about it! Leave it in the comments or send it our way.

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