It’s Squash Season!
Stephanie Voytek, Sodexo Dietetic Intern
What screams fall more than squash? The season is filled with smells and tastes of pumpkin spice, roasted acorn squash, or butternut squash soup. While you’re enjoying your favorite squash, keep in mind that you’re consuming plenty of nutrients too!
Whether it be pumpkin, acorn, butternut, delicata, kabocha, or a blue hubbard, winter squash is packed with nutrients and flavor! Don’t be afraid to try new squash, as many of them taste very similar.
According to the USDA, a single cup of cooked butternut squash has:
- Over 6 grams of fiber
- Over 41% the RDA for Vitamin C
- Over 120% the RDA for Vitamin A
- More potassium than a banana
- Vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6
- Folate, pantothenic acid, and manganese
The bright orange and yellow pigments in squash are created by the high amount of vitamin A. This nutrient also creates an orange color in other foods such as carrots. As you may know, vitamin A is important for good vision and to promote overall immune health. When the season is over and you’re ready to toss any sugar pumpkins, dumplings, or blue hubbards that you used for decoration, don’t forget that you can cook with them too!
Enjoy squash at home or at a tailgate with this awesome butternut squash chili.
Easy Butternut Squash Chili
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 1 large can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 15 oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash, chopped (our your choice)
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (or 1 whole, dried cayenne)
- 2 tsp dark chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- Shot of hot sauce (or to your liking)
- Roast or steam butternut squash until slightly tender.
- In a large stock pot, warm oil and add onions. Sautee until translucent, then add garlic. Saute for about 1 minute and add bell peppers.
- Add tomatoes and spices to pot. Keep on medium-low heat for about 1 hour. Stir regularly, and add water if it becomes too thick.
- After an hour, add onion and carrots. Let cook for about 10 minutes until tender.
- Rinse beans and add to the pot along with squash. Let cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Butternut squash adds plenty of flavor to chili, but you can even swap it with other winter squashes such as blue hubbard, kabocha, or red kuri. Enjoy!