There are 11 varieties of winter squash. All look and act differently, but essentially, preparing and feeding are the same. Let’s examine a few!
- Acorn Squash: Dark green/orange skin, orange-yellow flesh inside. Choose acorn squash that are firm and don’t have soft spots and feel heavy for the size of the squash. If you store them on the counter, they will last for at least a month, maybe more. You’ll know they are getting older when they become either soft to the touch or lighter in weight. My gliders will not eat squash that has not been cooked. This is the only vegetable they will not eat uncooked. No explanation on this LOL. However, it can be fed either way. Simply chop and serve, seeds need not be removed, and you get to see how your gliders like it.
- Banana Squash: A little known squash and not one you will find often at groceries, is the Banana Squash. Since this squash typically grows 2-3 feet in length, you will generally find it in pieces at local markets with the seeds already removed. It will have orange, pink or blue skin, and beautiful, orange flesh inside. Again, simply chop and feed, cooked or uncooked. Seeds need not be removed.
- Butternut Squash: Least favorite of all squashes, here in our home, is butternut. Not sure why, but they just don’t like it lol. Butternut squash has a funny shape, as you can see from the picture, almost pear shaped. Be sure to look for squash that is uniform in color, with no bruises or blemishes on the skin and that is heavy for its size. When stored in a cool, dry place, butternut squash will be good for about 3 months, longer than most. Same rules apply – chop and serve, cooked or uncooked. Seeds need not be removed.
- Kabocha Squash: Green on the outside, sometimes with “warts”, and bright orange on the inside. It’s a sweet and nutty squash – so if you haven’t cooked with it, do so, it’s fabulous! Look for Kabochas that are heavy for their size, with no soft spots. Chop & serve, seeds need not be removed.
- Spaghetti Squash: This is a GOOD one!!! We cook with this all the time! Spaghetti squash is just simply amazing – beautiful pale/bright yellow skin, with insides that turn into “spaghetti” when cooked! It doesn’t taste like spaghetti, but it’s a great alternative, when used with a red sauce! Ahh, but back to gliders. My gliders enjoy this one cooked, but honestly, since we always make it that way, that’s how they get it. So, cook and serve as “spaghetti”, or simply shop and serve and see if they like it.