Tag Archives: organic squash

Spaghetti Squash and a New Farm Partner!

Hello Harvesters

This week we will carry spaghetti squash from Island Meadow Farm on Vashon Island. Island Meadow is a new farm partner for us at PCH, and we are excited to work with them!

Learn more about Island Meadow Farm here

Island Meadow Farm. Photo used by permission of the owner.

Island Meadow Farm. Photo used by permission of the owner.

Spaghetti squash is an awesome vegetable. It tastes great, it’s nutritious, and it is hugely variable in its cooking applications. It’s a variant of the same species as most types of edible squash, Cucurbita pepo, but it has a unique twist- when cooked, the flesh comes apart in ribbons that look like spaghetti noodles. Because of this twist, you can serve spaghetti squash as a replacement for the wheat-based noodles in pasta. This is obviously quite helpful for our gluten-intolerant and celiac friends, but it also fun and delicious even if you also love a good semolina pasta.

By DC (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By DC (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 Spaghetti squash contains relatively high amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, and beta carotene. The folic acid makes it a good choice for pregnant women It’s also low in calories, making it a good choice for a weight loss regimen if you are looking to reduce your caloric intake while maintaining good nutrition.

To cook a spaghetti squash, simply cut in half the long way, drizzle it with some olive oil, and sprinkle some salt and pepper on the flesh. Put the halves face up on a baking sheet and bake it at around 375 degrees for about an hour. The flesh should be tender, but not mushy. Here’s a more detailed guide to cooking a spaghetti squash.

What’s your favorite spaghetti squash recipe? Let us know!

Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone.

 

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A Cornucopia of Cucurbita (Say that 6 Times Fast)

Hello Harvesters

Pacific Northwest produce lovers have a love-hate relationship with our squash. Towards the end of the summer, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to consume all the zucchini and yellow summer squash coming out of our gardens without wasting any. It’s the season of trying to dump as much summer squash as possible into your neighbors hands while trying to avoid taking theirs, like a big game of hot potato (or hot squash, as the case may be).

"Cucurbita moschata Musquée de Provence - "Courge musquée" squash gourd" by fr:User:Spedona - fr:Image:Courge_musquée01.jpg. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Musqu%C3%A9e_de_Provence_-_%22Courge_musqu%C3%A9e%22_squash_gourd.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Musqu%C3%A9e_de_Provence_-_%22Courge_musqu%C3%A9e%22_squash_gourd.jpg

“Cucurbita moschata Musquée de Provence – “Courge musquée” squash gourd” by fr:User:Spedona – fr:Image:Courge_musquée01.jpg. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Musqu%C3%A9e_de_Provence_-_%22Courge_musqu%C3%A9e%22_squash_gourd.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Musqu%C3%A9e_de_Provence_-_%22Courge_musqu%C3%A9e%22_squash_gourd.jpg

 

Fortunately, the middle of September is when we start to see a transition from summer squash, like zucchini, patty, and yellow squash (generally of the species Cucurbita pepo), to more winter squash varieties like butternut and acorn (in the US, mostly C. moschata, with some C. pepo mixed in for good measure). Winter squash differ from summer squash in that they generally mature to the point where they have a hard and inedible outer rind before they are picked and eaten. This helps these hardy plants survive the colder weather of Cascadian autumn and winter. Their different physiology also gives them a different taste and different cooking applications. While zucchini is best sliced and sautéed (at least in my opinion), nothing beats a good mashed butternut squash with honey and butter.

"Cucurbita moschata Butternut 2012 G2" by George Chernilevsky - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Butternut_2012_G2.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Butternut_2012_G2.jpg

“Cucurbita moschata Butternut 2012 G2” by George Chernilevsky – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Butternut_2012_G2.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Cucurbita_moschata_Butternut_2012_G2.jpg

 

Thanks to their hard outer rinds, winter squash varieties have extremely long shelf lives. If you buy a prime acorn squash in good condition, it can keep for up to two months if it is stored in a cool (around 50 degrees F), dry place away from direct sunlight. Just make sure not to store them in a refrigerator, as this actually makes the squash go bad more quickly. This comes in very handy for busy Seattleites who don’t want to waste their produce, and makes winter squash a great standby food that you can save for when you really need it.

 

Keep an eye out for this week’s recipe, which includes butternut squash (but I won’t give it away yet!)

 

Happy harvesting.

 

 

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