WRITTEN BY KAREN ANDERSON
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SALT FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
STYLED BY SAVORY PALATE CONSULTING
Tip: Be a seed saver
To save your seeds, wash them and then
bake them on a parchment paper-lined
baking sheet at 180°C (350°F) for 10
minutes until lightly toasted.
Thick-skinned, orange- or yellow-fleshed winter squash brightens our plates
through the long, dark days of winter.
Butternut is known for soups, or for
roasting and dicing into hearty salads
and pilafs. Delicata makes a nice side dish
when sliced thinly and sprinkled with
cinnamon and maple syrup. Buttercup is
sensational when steamed and mashed
in place of potatoes. Spaghetti squash
is a delicious substitute for pasta when
served with a pesto or tomato sauce, and
a stuffed acorn squash could be your new
go-to dish for meatless Mondays.
Squash, pumpkins and gourds are
all from the same Cucurbita botanical
family and although they originated
in the Andes, they do well in Alberta.
Tam Andersen of Prairie Gardens and
Adventure Farm in Bon Accord grows
more than 50 kinds of pumpkins and
squash. “We are the northernmost
pumpkin farm in Canada,” she says.
If you need more reasons to try squash,
they’re also high in beta carotene, and
vitamins B6 and C. Our bodies turn beta
carotene into vitamin A, which supports
healthy vision. Vitamin B6 is needed to
make protein. Vitamin C is important
for bones, teeth and skin. Squash is also
a source of folate, fibre and iron. Folate
helps to make red blood cells. Fibre helps
to lower cholesterol and manage blood
Tip: Squash store well.
If a squash feels heavy for its size, it will be
soft and moist inside. Look for a stem that
is intact and firm without mould or softness.
Ideally, the surface is dull and
the colour rich and deep in
tone. Avoid any with soft
spots or cracks.