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Produce of the Month: Butternut Squash

Posted by itsupportgroup
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on Monday, 15 January 2018 in School Nutrition Blog

picture of squashButternut Squash is not only one the most popular winter vegetables, but it’s also this month’s Produce of the Month. As produce of the month, students will learn all about butternut squash and enjoy its great flavor on the lunch menu in schools. As a member of the pumpkin family, butternut squash has a nutty and sweet flavor that is full of many vitamins and important nutrients. So on your next visit to the grocery store make sure to add Butternut Squash to your cart!


Nutritional Value of Squash

Butternut squash is high in potassium, which is an essential mineral that helps your children grow strong bones and keeps their heart healthy. Butternut Squash is also high in dietary fiber which will help them feel full throughout the school day and help them focus. Butternut squash is also high in Vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is important for healthy vision and skin. Vitamin C is necessary for a strong immune system, which will help reduce their chances of becoming sick throughout the school year.



Choosing Your Butternut Squash.

Butternut squash is one of the most popular forms of winter squash available. When choosing squash in the grocery store or your local farmers market there are certain qualities to look for. First, choose squash that is heavier for its size. It is also important to look for larger squash since it has a more developed flavor than smaller sizes. The outer rind should be firm and unbroken with a uniform tan or beige color. Make sure to store your squash in a cool, dark place. Squash can be stored for up to one month.  Refrigerate your squash once it is cut into.


Best ways to Enjoy.

Squash can be enjoyed in a variety of stews, soups, and chilies. It can be enjoyed in its entirety, even down to the seeds. It can be baked and drizzled with olive oil or mashed with yams and sweetened with ginger and cinnamon.  Any way that you choose to eat this amazing vegetable, will have you wanting seconds.


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Contributor: Katherin Ancona, R.D.

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