Eat, Drink, Live Longer podcast

109: Winter Squash 101

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They come in a wild variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and winter squash are everywhere this time of year. In addition to their vibrant beauty, winter squash are versatile and nutritious. The stars of today’s show are some of my favorite winter squash varieties--butternut, acorn, delicata, kabocha, Honeynut, spaghetti--and together with my two guests, we'll be sharing interesting ways to prepare winter squash that even your pickiest eaters will love. It's time for some winter squash wisdom! 

My first guest today is Katie Morford, a registered dietitian, food writer, and cookbook author. She has a blog called Mom’s Kitchen Handbook: Raising Fresh-food Kids in a French-fried World, and her recipes rock. Wait till you hear about Katie's recipe for Delicata Squash Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions.

My second guest is the Executive Chef at Wilson Farm, a family farm located down the road from my home in Lexington, Massachusetts. Chef Raymond Ost was on the show last spring to talk about asparagus, and he’s here again to share some of his favorite winter squash creations including a stuffed Honeynut squash recipe.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • The nutritional value of winter squash: high in beta carotene, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and potassium.
  • The seeds can be roasted for an additional nutrient-dense food.
  • Spaghetti squash: less nutritious than others, but lower in calories.
  • Katie’s recipe for Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, borrowed from the Foodie Physician. It has lasagna flavors but a foundation of spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
  • How to use the microwave to soften winter squashes, and then roast or puree.
  • Katie’s recipe for Delicata Squash Tacos.
  • Why delicata squash can be considered a “gateway” squash to get kids to try winter squash.
  • Why most people are only familiar with a few of the winter squash varieties.
  • Typical ways to prepare winter squash.
  • Chef Ost’s recipe for delicata stuffed with onion, panko, sage, and chestnuts.
  • The shelf life of winter squash and storing them outside in cool weather.
  • How honeynut squash can be used in recipes. Check out my new recipe for Honeynut squash with Caramelized Onion, Cranberries, Spinach, and Bacon.
  • Ideas for stuffing, baking, and roasting
  • A good squash to use if you have picky kids: butternut or sugar pumpkin (Chef Ost’s favorite is to blanch pumpkin, puree it, and mix it with mashed potato)
  • An idea for filling acorn squash “bowls” with butternut squash soup
  • Chef Ost’s favorite red quinoa salad with roasted squash and leeks.


Katie's recipe for Delicata Squash Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions 

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Katie Morford, RD

Mom's Kitchen Handbook:





Wilson Farm:



Facebook:  Find a roundup of 17 winter squash recipes on my blog

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