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Our Favorite Fall Ingredient: Squash

The ladies of Pilates of Charleston are always looking for seasonal recipes. Every Fall it seems like it’s impossible to head to the grocery store without seeing fall vegetables like squash and pumpkin in abundance. Not sure if you should try out delicata or stick to butternut? Or are you curious about the health benefits behind these funky looking vegetables?  Below we’ve broken down the different types of winter squash, letting you in on everything from their tastes to their varying nutritious values.

Butternut Squash: 

This squash varietal seems to be the standard fall ingredient. Butternut squash can be used to make a creamy soup or can simply be roasted and added into a fall macro bowl. Despite being low in calories, butternut squash is among the sweetest squash varietals and is an excellent source of calcium, iron, and Vitamin A! Vitamin A is the vitamin behind regulating cell growth, eye health, and immune function, so eat your butternut squash and tackle anti-aging attempts all in one!

Acorn Squash: 

This squash varietal is arguably one of our favorites! The skin on this varietal is safe to eat and definitely should be. Perfect for roasting, baking, or mashing, this varietal can be cut in halves, seeds removed, and seasoned with a healthy amount of cinnamon. Pop the slices into the oven at a high temperature and roast for around 45 minutes for the perfect vegan side dish. Acorn squash is packed with similar vitamins and minerals to butternut squash but also acts as a protectant against certain chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, cinnamon is the holy grail of fall spices, as it is chalk full of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and lowers blood sugar, so feel free to have a heavy hand while seasoning your squash!

Spaghetti Squash: 

Spaghetti squash is all about texture. Once cooked, this squash pulls apart and transforms into a spaghetti like substance, allowing you to get your pasta fix in while getting your nutrients in as well. Although this varietal tends to not be as antioxidant rich as some of the others on this list, it acts as an excellent source for fiber and is perfect for the carb lover who wants to cut down. The best thing about spaghetti squash is that the hardest decision is what sauce you should use to mimic your pasta dinner! We love doing a pesto sauce with roasted mushrooms and a protein of your choice. What makes the squash even better? No clean up afterwards! Simply serve the meal in the squash and throw out when done.

Delicata Squash: 

Tied with acorn squash, delicata squash is one of our favorites this time of year. Similar to acorn, this varietal is slightly sweeter than some of the others but also contains a nutty, drier flavor. Cut the squash into rings and remove seeds before adding your seasonings! We like to marinate ours in tahini, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and let bake in the oven on high for about 40 minutes. Tahini is another spotlight ingredient we love to make use of during the colder months. Similar to a peanut butter consistency, tahini packs more protein than a glass of milk or a bundle of nuts and is excellent for brain function and energy boosting.

It seems like as the temperature starts to drop, we crave heavier and heartier foods. Just because your body wants something fulfilling doesn’t mean you need to go the unhealthy route! You can’t go wrong with any of these fall favorites squashes, from their varying tastes and their nutrient filled properties, there’s no excuse to not eat clean this autumn. Get creative and add one of these to your salads and grain bowls or make a creamy autumn soup or a healthy version of mashed potatoes.



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