With fall in full swing, it is a great time to take a walk and look at the changing leaves and buy some hardy fall vegetables like squash. Squash is considered a “super food” because of its content of fiber, antioxidants and minerals. Here are four different types of squash and their health benefits:
- Acorn squash looks like a giant acorn and has nine grams of fiber and 115 calories in a one-cup serving. Acorn squash is also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin B1 and B6. Some ways to use acorn squash include pureed and added to soups, roasted and served as a side dish, filled with rice or stuffing and baked with a cinnamon topping.
- Butternut squash looks like a large orange pear and has six grams of fiber and 82 calories in a one-cup serving. Butternut squash is also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Some ways to use butternut squash include added to soups and a filling for ravioli and/or pasta dishes.
- Spaghetti squash looks like a small yellow watermelon. It has two grams of fiber and only 42 calories in a one-cup serving. Spaghetti squash is also high in omega 3 fatty acids. Some ways to use spaghetti squash include as a substitute for pasta and served in a cold pasta salad. Don’t waste the seeds from inside. Put them on a cookie sheet in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes on 275 degrees after they are dried for a healthy snack. Always remember portion control with nuts and seeds; one ounce provides about 150 calories, seven grams of protein and lots of good fat.
- Lastly, pumpkin has two grams of fiber and 49 calories in a one-cup serving. Pumpkin is also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Some ways to use pumpkin include pureed and added to soups and roasted and served as a side dish.
As you can see there are lots of ways to add some different types of squash to your meal plan this fall. Squash provides a lot of bang for your buck with nutrition without breaking the calorie bank. So go ahead and add a new vegetable to your grocery list this week!
Betsy Felde RD, LDN
Centegra Weight-Loss Surgery Center