House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-







Thursday, November 10, 2011

What?? You want me to eat the guts?!?!

YES I DO!!

What am I talking about? Well it's that time of year again, you know, pumpkin carving, baking and unfortunately wasting... makes me sad. Pumpkin is a powerhouse of goodness!

Ok, here is the disclaimer: I am not a doctor or ARNP, or naturopath. Although the information I provide is true and accurate to the best of my abilities, there is always the possibility of allergy, intolerance or distaste. And you should always discuss diet changes with your doctor incase you are taking medication that reacts to foods. That said, now one with my message.


Winter squashes are so yummy! You can make soups, stews, pies, stir fry and salads. They also have some great health benefits: seeds are high in protein, a great source of zinc( A study of almost 400 men ranging in age from 45-92 that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a clear correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral, and osteoporosis at the hip and spine), and good for prostate health; high in fiber; naturally sweet.

Varieties:

Here are the most common varieties:
Buttercup squash:  There are two kinds, each with its unique shape. One looks like a parachute, whereas the other looks more like a crown. It has a thick skin, can be green or orange, and weighs about 1 kg. The flesh is smooth, sweet and dense.
Hubbard squash:  These ones are large, bumpy and oval, ranging from dark greens to vibrant reds to blue. Its flesh is dry, thick, and not very sweet. This large variety weighs in at an impressive 5kg.
Pumpkin:  Pumpkin is a Fall favourite – one that shouldn’t just be used out of the can. Luscious orange and not as meaty as other squashes, the best eating pumpkins are the smaller varieties.
Butternut squash:  One of the most popular varieties, this pear shape variety has a smooth skin and is cream in colour. Its best to eat when about 25cm long and 10cm wide. It also boasts one of the highest beta-carotene amounts, with a sweet and very deep orange flesh.
Acorn squash:  The acorn shaped squash is smooth with thick ridges and dark green with a hint of orange. It’s tastiest when about 12cm in height and 20cm across, and has a delicate, nutty flavour.
Spaghetti squash:  Brighter yellow in colour, spaghetti squash has a mild, nutty flavour that is less starchy than it’s other winter friends. It’s name comes from the texture; once cooked, the flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands.

One of the best parts of squashes are the seeds!!  Oh yummy seeds. All you have to do is separate them form the strings and "guts" into a colander. Rinse with cool to warm water, drain.. and kind of dry a bit with a towel. Next melt some butter in a baking dish that is large enough to hold all the seeds in a single layer. Pour the seeds on, stir in the butter until all the seeds are covered. Spread the seeds out on the pan then sprinkle with salt, and put into the oven at the lowest temperature over night. So around 150 to 200 degrees. I did mine at 170 degrees. You know they are done when they have lost that green taste. When done they taste nutty and to me a little like popcorn. We love to eat the "guts".. I serve these on the side of any squash dish I serve at home.. well, except zucchini as those seeds are too small and soft.

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