Autumn is truly a feast for the senses, with its stunning colors, nip in the air, and tastes and smells of soul-nourishing comfort foods. Brightly-coloured, whimsically-shaped with certain varieties, such as butternut, high in Vitamin A, winter squashes make the perfect main course or centerpiece, whether your autumn passion is watching the leaves change or watching the big game!
While there are many varieties, the following are the most common:
This deep-ridged, acorn-shaped squash can be found in black, dark green or orange. Its flesh is light yellow to orange and may have a moderately sweet to bland flavour. It's most often halved and stuffed or baked simply with spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Turban-like in shape with a light green cap on a dark green base. The pulp is a creamy shade of yellow.
This squash has a football shape. It is lumpy skinned, with colours ranging from dark green, light-grey blue, creamy white or pumpkin coloured in appearance. All varieties have a bright yellow pulp. They range in weight from 3-8 pounds.
More common on front porches than in kitchens, you can purchase a sugar pumpkin to try your hand at making a pumpkin pie from scratch. Luckily, canned pumpkin is an easy substitute that tastes pretty close to the real thing.
This is the most colourful of all the squashes, featuring a bright orange rind with deep green, white and yellow splashes. It looks like a flattened pumpkin. Turkish turbans are wonderful and attractive when baked whole.
Also called vegetable spaghetti, this tan, long oval variety is a special treat. After baking, you can run a fork through the flesh and pull out long yellow strands that resemble spaghetti. These "noodles" make a great substitute for pasta.