Mounds of colorful pumpkins & gourds are popping up everywhere at this time of year - in bins at your local market, on doorsteps in your neighborhood and in even in your coffee!
There’s no doubt that these tough-skinned members of the Cucurbitaceae family (pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash), are beautiful and ornamental but did you also know that they are full of fiber and packed with health-supporting nutrients like vitamins A and C?
Here are some of my favorite ideas to add all things squash and pumpkin to your meals and snacks, deliciously!
You can roast most squashes whole (favorite technique with spaghetti squash). Preheat oven to 425°. With a small sharp knife, prick squash all over. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender when pierced with knife, about 35-40 minutes (make sure that you flip it halfway through.) When cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds (you can roast these separately). Try this technique with this gluten-free riff on a traditional pasta bolognese Pumpkin Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash.
In nearly every supermarket today, you can find pre-cut butternut squash in the produce aisle. This is a great option when time is tight. Toss cubed squash with your favorite oil, season with salt and pepper or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread in a single layer on a lined rimmed baking pan. Roast at 400° F for 20-25 minutes while getting the rest of dinner ready. Tip: The smaller the cubes are cut, the faster they will roast. So it can speed things along by cutting those cubes in half when you take them out of the package. The squash is ready when you can pierce a cube with a knife easily. Enjoy as a side dish. Add leftovers to salads and soups.
Canned pumpkin is the perfect item to keep in stock in your pantry. Be sure to purchase canned pumpkin and not “pumpkin pie mix” which will have added ingredients. Throw into pureed soups for creaminess. Add to your favorite hummus or bean dip to increase the nutrient-density. Stir into smoothies like this delicious Pumpkin Chai Smoothie for a nutrient boost. Don’t forget about baking! Try this gluten-free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread recipe, one of my go-to fall recipes for my family.