Gourds and spices; the best part of the fall season. Healthy fall squash and spices help the body to warm up during the winter and gourds are a great way to stay full longer. They’re gluten free, packed with fiber, and it keeps you fuller longer than most foods. Take advantage of all the beautiful colors of fall and eat according to the season to feel more in tune with the world around you. Gourds can be intimidating but they have an amazing amount of vitamins, and make delicious soups and casseroles. Get yourself some of these healthy fall Squash & spices this season.
Acorn: The skin is edible. Cut in half and slice. This squash is loaded with fiber and can be used as a bowl for fillings like stuffing, apples, chestnuts, or just roast. Try drizzling maple syrup and topping it off with some cinnamon to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Butternut: One of the most common and easiest to peel the skin. Look for a long thick neck. Makes a delicious creamy soup and pairs well with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. It has the highest amount of Vitamin A & C.
Calabaza: Used in Latin dishes, this squash is difficult to cut through so use a cleaver or get it cut at the market. The whole squash can be stored for up to 6 weeks in c dry, cool area. Cut pieces will last about a week in the fridge. This squash is similar to butternut. It’s sweet, and juicy. Throw some pieces in a stew or cook along with beans. Also, great for baking.
Delicata: known as sweet potato squash because of it’s resemblance. The skin is pale yellow with green pinstripes and is edible so no peeling necessary. Roast it in the oven with other root vegetables, carrots and beets for a fast and filling side dish.
Pumpkin: They make great jack-o-lanterns and delicious pies but you can also roast them, steam, puree, or make into breads and risottos. Look for the small variety called small sugar, new England pie, baby pam for a more flavorful and sweet pumpkin. The ones used for jack-o-lanterns are less flavorful. Save their seeds and roast them in the oven for a healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds are used to promote a healthy prostate.
Anise: A licorice like spice that can be added as a beautiful garnish or used medicinally. Star Anise is a anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and is rich in shikimic acid, helps to fight against the flu. Make a licorice flavor tisane, or use sparingly in foods careful not to use too much. It easily overpowers other flavors.
Clove: Native to the island of Indonesia, cloves are an aromatic flower bud that grows from a tree. They can be used to temporarily alleviate a tooth ache, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, relieve respiratory infections or used to season foods. Make a Chai tea or season your favorite fall squash with spices like cloves and cinnamon for a holiday like experience.
Cinnamon: This aromatic spice is a natural food preservative. It regulates blood sugars, reduces LDL cholesterol levels, reduces pain linked to arthritis, and has warming properties. Make a delicious cinnamon tea, or some cinnamon apple sauce. Sprinkle some cinnamon, cloves, and maple syrup atop baked slices of acorn http://www.eat2live2day.com/maple-glazed-roasted-acorn-squash squash for a healthy and delicious snack.
Nutmeg: A spice similar to cinnamon used as a brain tonic by the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations because it stimulates the brain. It helps eliminate fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety. It also treats in digestion. Try some on your latte the next time you’re in Starbucks, or try adding to butternut squash soup for an instant warming and stimulating effect.
The Fall season is filled with beautiful squash & spices. Take advantage of the season and shop for some healthy gluten free fall squash & spices. Try to find a pumpkin patch near you and enjoy the spirit of Autumn. Squashes of different shapes and sizes, spices that stimulate the senses, and the tolerable chilly weather we’ve been waiting for all these summer months. This is one of most lovely times of the year, enjoy every part of it, and every spicy bite of it.