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A variety of winter squash: Turban, Hubbard, Carnival (Acorn), Butternut, Spaghetti Squash, Kuri and mini-pumpkins

Autumn is the perfect time of year to try Winter Squash. Unlike the varieties of squash that are available throughout the summer, Winter Squash is known for its hard shell and odd shape. Whether shopping at a Farmer's Market or the grocery store, it's hard to miss the weird shaped vegetables that are now available in abundance.

According to a recent report in The Palm Beach Post “Squash is one of those vegetables that people look at and then walk on by, said Chef Deborah Lindsay, a culinary instructor at Keiser University Melbourne.”

The odd look and feel of Winter Squash keep some consumers from buying them, but those who prepare them are treated to a seasonal food that is full of flavor and is chock full of nutrients and vitamins.

One of the good things about Winter squash is that it can be stored for a long period of time without refrigeration. The hard shell keeps the vegetable fresh. Since Winter Squash is a seasonable vegetable cooking it is a great way to add variety to one's dinner menu.

Squash is high in vitamins, particularly A, B6, C, and E. Winter squash could be just the boost your immune system needs to help prevent you from coming down with that nasty cold going around your kids school. In addition to these vitamins, squash offers calcium, niacin, manganese, and potassium. It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, calories and sodium. It's even loaded with beta-carotene which is thought to help prevent cancer. It's truly a nutritional powerhouse of a fruit.

The easiest way to prepare it is by simply roasting it. Just cut the squash into large chunks and remove the seeds and cook in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. For some added flavor, brush some melted butter or olive oil over the squash before baking.

Winter Squash only comes around one time of year. Embrace it for its uniqueness, change up your dinner recipes and roast one today.

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