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Seasonal Cooking: Squash

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A Love Story

Written by Mackenzie Piccarreto

It’s officially that time of year—when summer is a distant memory and pumpkin spice seems to run the show (and the shelves). Whether you’re someone who welcomes the colder months with open arms or gets dragged in, kicking and screaming, I think we can all agree on one thing: Cozy food rules.

You could argue that every season has its perks when it comes to produce, especially here in Upstate New York. But there’s definitely something about the warm, comforting meals of winter that feel like a straight-up hug. Think soups, stews, curries and, you guessed it, all the squash.

I have a deep love for winter squash. Not only is it delicious, but there are so many different varieties available and countless ways to cook it. What may seem like an intimidating vegetable to prepare (ever gotten your knife stuck halfway into a butternut?) can actually be as simple as you make it.

Don’t feel like chopping? Scoop the seeds out and throw the whole thing into the oven. Sick of the same ol’ roasted squash? Make a soup or a purée. Too busy to peel? Eat the skin! (Yes, seriously.) It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of preparing the same ingredients in the same way over and over—so when I recently got my CSA share from The Good Food Collective and saw an acorn squash, I was very excited. Growing up, my dad would roast them with a little butter, cinnamon and sugar—but I couldn’t recall the last time I ate one as an adult.

Getting this share on a weekly basis has not only allowed me to try new items, but I also get to support the local, small farms in the area. They have high standards when it comes to quality and—the best part—their program goes all-year-round.

While each winter squash has a slightly different flavor, you can usually swap things around. So the next time you see a variety you don’t recognize, grab it!

Mackenzie Piccarreto is an Integrative Health Coach, the founder of Mackenzie’s Table and an all-around wellness geek. She believes that eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or boring.

RECIPES

Winter Farro Salad with Honeynut Squash + Shallot Vinaigrette

Delicata Squash with Sage + Honey

Roasted Acorn Squash Purée

This article originally appeared in the January-February 2020 Issue of the magazine.

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