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Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax
jo@listserv.ksu.edu

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Foods for the Fall Season

Return to Heath and Nutrition Agent Articles

Winter SquashHello fall! Hello fall foods!

I am so excited for fall. I love the weather, the colors, the clothes, the promise of holidays on the horizon and, of course, the food. Not only does fall food bring cozy soups and comfy casseroles, it also brings the unique, pretty, and one of the few native American produce species, winter squash.

A good source of fiber
There are many different types of winter squash and lots of reasons to eat them. They all offer some great health benefits. Winter squash is a tasty source of complex carbohydrate (natural sugar and starch) and fiber. Fiber, which was once called roughage, absorbs water and becomes bulky in the stomach. It works throughout the intestinal track, cleaning and moving waste quickly out of the body. Research suggests that this soluble fiber plays an important role in reducing the incidence of colon cancer.

Nutrients
Winter squash is also a source of potassium, niacin, iron and beta carotene. The orange-fleshed squash is also an excellent source of beta carotene. As a general rule, the deeper the orange color, the higher the beta carotene content. Beta carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A being essential for healthy skin, vision, bone development and maintenance as well as many other functions.

What to look for when purchasing winter squash
Not all squash taste alike so you may want to experiment to find the one you like. Many people are familiar with acorn squash but it isn’t the most full flavored. Try butternut squash, buttercup squash, delicata squash or hubbard squash. Winter squash should be rock hard and should be purchased with the stem on it. The skin should be somewhat dull and shouldn’t nick easily. Always look for one with deep, rich color. Storing squash makes it sweeter and more concentrated in flavor. Plus, it looks pretty on your counter top.

Here are a few recipes to experiment with this fall.

Contact Us

Crystal Futrell
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
crystal.futrell@jocogov.org