Squash comes in many forms but typically, they are separated into winter and summer varieties. Winter includes favourites such as butternut, acorn, spaghetti, hubbard and kabocha…all delicious, full of vitamin C and fibre. They’re sweet and nutty, delicious, but not overpowering. The perfect way to add a hint of extra nutrition into foods you already love to eat.
But wait! Don’t forget about summer squash! This variety includes zucchini and pattypan among others. Not as easily pureed and hidden, but equally nutritious.
I could effortlessly eat an entire plate of squash every single night. I don’t discriminate; I love all kinds of squash. But that doesn’t mean it can’t play hide and seek in your family’s favourite foods.
Squash is the perfect food to “hide” in other foods because not only does it boost the nutrition of the dish, it can also enhance the flavor. What I like to do is steam, puree and freeze the squash in cubes (like I did with baby food). This way, I always have some on hand to boost the nutrition of whatever dish I’m making. Here are some of my favourite ways to sneak squash into your daily life:
Yes, Butternut Squash, and most winter squash, can be the headliner when it comes to soup. But if you’re making a tomato soup, minestrone, chicken noodle or split pea, don’t forget about squash! Add some puree into your final dish instead of any sweetener or salt and watch people try to guess the secret ingredient.
Of course, you could make squash ravioli or lasagna, but try adding some to your regular spaghetti sauce. It will blend in seamlessly and add a hint of sweetness which cuts the acidity of the tomatoes really well.
Making banana muffins? Sub in some pureed squash or grated zucchini in place of one banana. The texture won’t suffer and you can cut back on the amount of sugar you’re using.
Without the cheese! Use a brightly coloured orange squash for this one and everyone will be pouring this over their veggies (or nachos) and asking for more. I have a great recipe for you below.
Add some squash to your wet ingredients before adding them to the flour mixture. Talk about a boost of antioxidants to get your day going! All you need is 1 cup of squash to get half of your daily vitamin C!
Blend any cooked squash, any colour, into hummus for an unbelievable flavour!
Not only is it fun to say, but it’s easy to make. Add pureed squash instead of milk, add grated squash and it will blend right in. Delicious, nutritious, brunch. Done.
Add grated Pattypan squash into the ground meat and mash some squash into the potato topping. Or replace the potato altogether if you’re feeling adventurous!
Steam cubed squash until cooked through and tender
Add squash and all other ingredients into a blender
Add more lemon juice, salt or paprika to your taste
Enjoy on whatever your heart desires
Whether you like squash straight up like me, or you're more of a hide and seek with veggies type person-you can enjoy the benefits of all sorts of squash in your diet. Get creative! I bet you'll find some great foods that taste even better with squash. Experiment! Have fun! Let me know what creations you come up with in the comments below-I would love to try something new. Bon Appetit!