4 Healthy Squash Recipes to Celebrate Fall
by Steven Auger
Squash is one of those hearty veggies that always seems to conjure up images of fall. If you're looking to cook a warm, tasty dinner on a crisp autumn night, look no further than the squash. Not only is it delicious, but it's also super nutritious! We've put together a few healthy squash recipes for you to cozy up and try with the whole family — but first, let's go over the benefits of fall's favorite vegetable.
Health Benefits of Squash
Squash varieties such as acorn, butternut, and pumpkin (also known as the winter squashes) are rich in fiber, vitamin A, and potassium. Making squash part of your regular diet can boost your immune system and help prevent high blood pressure and asthma. Not to mention, snacking on baked pumpkin seeds provides a good source of protein!
As another benefit, squash is a complex carbohydrate — and a good complex carb fuels your body in the gym. According to the National Institutes of Health, the body turns carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar) and uses that glucose as energy. Eating some complex carbs before you hit the gym is a smart and healthy way to power up for a sweat session.
Now that you know how feasting on squash can benefit you, head to your kitchen to concoct one of these four healthy squash recipes!
Who doesn't love a good butternut squash? The beauty of this classic recipe is that it's as simple as it is tasty.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel, seed, and cut one butternut squash into one-inch cubes. Mix the cubes in a bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil and two minced garlic cloves. Season with ground black pepper and salt. Then spread the mix on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until the squash becomes lightly browned and tender.
If you're a fan of the acorn squash, then you're going to love this delicious dish! Start with two small acorn squashes that have been halved and seeded. Cut the halves into one-inch wedges and set them aside.
Next, toast three tablespoons of sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium-to-high heat until they are golden brown. Add one teaspoon of cumin seeds into the mix and toast everything until it becomes fragrant, which takes about 30 seconds. Then let the seeds cool in a small bowl.
Mix the squash slices with coriander, two teaspoons of salt, a pinch of pepper, and oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Add the sesame mixture and flip the slices. Roast for another 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
You'll love the savory twist a spaghetti squash adds to the classic, fresh flavor of a Caprese salad. To begin, cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Drizzle a touch of olive oil on each half, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake them cut-side down for 35–40 minutes, or until tender. Once they're cool, shred the squash and set it aside.
Now sauté some garlic in olive oil for about 30 seconds over medium-to-high heat. Add tomatoes and cook for two to three minutes. Then add the spaghetti squash and ensure it's all coated evenly. Finally, turn off the heat and add the mozzarella. Slowly stir until it begins to melt. Top with fresh basil and serve.
Start your day off right with some pumpkin pancakes! Combine 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in a blender, or stir the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Let the batter sit for five minutes (so it can thicken) as you heat up a non-stick pan. Now cook the pancakes over medium-high heat for one to two minutes on each side, or until you can smoothly slide a spatula beneath both sides of the pancake.
These healthy squash recipes are not only easy to make, they provide delicious and nutritious meals for the whole family — as well as energy for you to burn in the gym. You can't beat that!