Winter Squash tops this week’s list as Fresh Pick of the Week. Several varieties – many organic – are available from multiple farms, and at all three Certified Farmers’ Market locations. Winter Squash differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened to a tough rind. Winter Squash is generally cooked before eating. It is not grown or harvested in Winter as its name implies, but was commonly kept through the Winter in the days before refrigeration.
Varieties include: Butternut Squash – Butternut Squash is the most common Winter Squash variety. It has a peachy skin and bright orange flesh. Choose the darkest fruits. Acorn Squash – Acorn Squash is dark green with deep ridges. Its flesh a golden yellow. Pick the ones with a very dark green skin. Spaghetti Squash - as the name implies, Spaghetti Squash has a fibrous white flesh which resembles spaghetti. It can be eaten just like spaghetti with sauces and cheese. Buttercup Squash is flattened and round with flesh that is sweet, dry and dark orange. Look for a very dark green (almost bronze) fruit.
Did you know: Winter Squash is a super healthy food. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates. Winter Squash is also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese, folate, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, niacin and beta carotene. The darker the skin, the higher the beta carotene content.
Price: $1.50/pound and up, depending on the variety.