I absolutely love the fall. The fall in Vegas is our reward for getting through the heat of summer. It's just nice to have the temperature drop a little at night and we're no longer over 100 during the day. In Northern Nevada the nights are much colder and the days are crisp. We witnessed the trees change along the Carson River and didn't even think about camping any longer. Where we lived in Colorado it was so high in elevation that we saw the abundant aspens turn. If we got wind, the leaves might have blown away before we could even see them change. We've lived in some very different climates over the last 10 years.
As a Nutritionist, I'm all about the food. I'm holding on to the last thoughts of summer fresh melons and still trying to buy the local ones.
I bought local watermelons (twice) and they were YELLOW! It flipped me out but they rocked. Think sweet like the difference between honey dew and cantaloupe.
Now that berries and melons are done. Here is a list of what is really in season.
I'm most excited about the abundant and inexpensive squash. When my son was following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet he ate a lot of butternut squash. It's easy to digest, FULL of vitamin A and C and can be used as a substitution for flour in the SCD recipes. On the down side, you pay for the heavy skin when buying squash. Head out to your local farms and buy it there. Watch your local farmers market. The BEST SCORE EVER was the Woodland Park farmers market our last year in Colorado. A local farmer was selling them for $2.00 each. EACH! I bought two entire boxes and a dear friend named Tara came over and helped me skin, cube and free all zillion pounds of it.
Check out the varieties! This was taken last week at my local (YES, local) farm side stand. Oh, Oregon! I'm so excited!!
Here are the top ways we eat squash in the Darling home:
1. Peel, steam, store butternut squash to use in future recipes, next Spring.
2. Use steamed butternut to make Squash Buttons for snacks. With or without eggs, this recipe is simple.
3. Stuffed acorn squash boats. We add some shallots to the mixture. Hmmmm, sweet and tangy.
4. Butternut squash apple quinoa salad Different and yummy; no cheese.
5. Add 1/2 cup of any cooked, pureed squash to a spaghetti or chili recipe to increase the immune boosting nutrition.
1. Squash is officially a fruit and the smaller the squash, the more flavorsome it will be.
2. The winter varieties produce more beta carotene after storage than when the squash is fresh from the vine.
3. The sweet dumpling squash is so sweet that all you have to do remove the top and the seeds, bake whole and serve with butter and cinnamon as a dessert.
4. Many parts of the squash plant, besides its flesh, are edible including the seeds, leaves, tendrils, shoots and flowers.
5. The tradition of lighting candles inside a carved pumpkin at Halloween is originally from Ireland where lit vegetables were hung in the window to ward off Jack O’ Lantern, a wayward soul condemned by the devil to walk the earth for all eternity.
Any variety of squash will provide loads of fiber, beta carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and protein.
How will you incorporate squash this season??
Power to the family!