Delicata squash isn’t your typical fall vegetable – most people don’t even know what it is! But this sweet, nutty, tender squash should be part of your winter go-to, no matter where you live. Find out more about why it’s an essential fall vegetable and how to incorporate it into your diet easily.
What Is Delicata Squash?
Also known as Bohemian squash, peanut squash, or sweet potato squash, delicata squash is a small, yellow winter squash with yellow-green rinds and orange-yellow flesh. It has a cylindrical or oblong shape and an edible skin and flesh that has a flavor similar to sweet potatoes.
Delicata squash has a soft, buttery texture and a sweet flesh that can be eaten raw or cooked. It is available in many grocery stores during the winter and fall seasons.
It has been compared to butternut squash in terms of nutrition and can be used in most recipes that call for butternut. It’s low in carbohydrates but rich in vitamin C and A, making it suitable for kicking off colds and flu during the winter.
Delicata Squash Nutrition
One cup of delicata squash contains about:
- Calories: 82
- Carbohydrates: 21.5 grams
- Protein: 1.8 grams
- Fat: 0.2 gram
- Fiber: 2–4 grams
- Vitamin A: 22,869 IU, or 457 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin C: 31 milligrams, or 52 percent of the daily requirement
- Manganese: 0.4 milligrams, or 18 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium: 582 milligrams, or 17 percent of the daily requirement
- Magnesium: 59.4 milligrams, or 15 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin E: 2.6 milligrams, or 13 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin B6: 0.3 milligrams, or 13 percent DV of the daily requirement)
- Thiamine: 0.1 milligrams, or 10 percent of the daily requirement
- Niacin: 2 milligrams, or 10 percent of the daily requirement
- Folate: 38.9 micrograms, or 10 percent of the daily requirement
- Calcium: 84 milligrams, or 8 percent of the daily requirement
- Iron: 1.2 milligrams, or 7 percent of the daily requirement
- Copper: 0.1 milligrams, or 7 percent of the daily requirement
- Phosphorus: 55.4 milligrams, or 6 percent of the daily requirement
Amazing Health Benefits of Delicata Squash
Help maintain vision
In addition to providing folate, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants that can help protect your eyes from free radicals, delicata squash also contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are good for reducing the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. In a study published in 2008, participants who consumed foods rich in these compounds had a lower risk of developing both conditions than those who did not.
Improve gastrointestinal health
Delicata squash is a great way to promote digestion. It contains fiber, which helps to clean out the gut and reduce constipation. It’s also high in antioxidants, which can help to protect your digestive system against damage from free radicals. In addition, delicata squash.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is important for your body’s cell membranes. It helps the body create hormones, and it’s also important for brain health. However, too much cholesterol can be dangerous.
The fiber in delicata squash lowers cholesterol by binding to bile acids, which prevents their being reabsorbed into the body. This causes the liver to convert more cholesterol into bile, thus decreasing cholesterol numbers.
Boosts the immune system
Delicata squash is a great way to boost your immunity. It is rich in antioxidants, which help protect your body from damage. It also contains vitamins A and C which are essential for fighting off infection. This squash is also low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a healthy choice for meal replacement or snacks.
Eating delicata squash can help increase your immunity to illnesses such as the flu. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation from conditions like arthritis
Healthy gluten-free alternative
Gluten is a type of protein found in many grains, such as wheat, rye, and barley. It’s also found in some foods made from these grains, including bread, pasta, and muffins.
People who have gluten intolerance often have a difficult time digesting this protein. This can cause a range of problems, including gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and more. For such, it’s good to consider gluten-free alternatives, and delicata squash may be a great option. It can be used in various recipes, including baking and pasta recipes.
Delicata squash has been shown to be a great way to promote bone health due to its high vitamin C content. This vitamin is important because it aids the formation and repair of collagen, an important part of connective tissue that helps keep joints, bones, and other tissues healthy. This may help prevent osteoporosis and other bone conditions.
Boosts iron intake
Delicata squash is a great source of iron, which helps promote healthy blood cells and keep your immune system strong.
Iron deficiency is a very common problem. It can cause anemia, which can make you feel tired, lightheaded, and dizzy. It can also lead to problems with your heart and brain. One serving of delicata squash contains 7 percent RDA (recommended daily allowance), which in addition to other iron-rich foods, can boost your intake
Inflammation is a response to injury or infection. It’s a natural response that helps the body heal. However, too much inflammation can be dangerous. It can cause pain, redness, and swelling. Inflammation can also lead to diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Delicata squash is a great choice for those looking to reduce inflammation in their body. This squash is high in antioxidants that are essential for fighting off inflammation. Additionally, delicata squash is a good source of vitamins A and C, both of which are important for fighting off inflammation.
Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common problem, and it can lead to a number of health issues. It can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to get it under control as soon as possible. There are a variety of ways to do this, including using medication and lifestyle changes like a diet.
Delicata squash is one of the best foods to include in your blood pressure-lowering diet.
It’s rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. Potassium works by relaxing the blood vessels, which reduces the amount of blood that is pumped by the heart. This reduction in the amount of blood pumped by the heart causes the heart to work less hard, and it can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Ways to Cook Delicata Squash
While delicata squash isn’t the most common type of winter squash, it’s becoming more widely available in markets, and people are starting to learn how to cook it. The unique striped shell of this winter squash makes it beautiful on the plate, and its mild flavor makes it perfect to use in recipes that would typically call for pumpkin or butternut squash. If you’re looking for some delicious ways to cook delicata squash, try out one of these creative options below!
Roast Delicata Squash
One of the simplest ways to cook delicata squash is by roasting it.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon before stuffing.
Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
There are various ingredients you can combine when stuffing your squash like:
- Stuff with a combination of, garlic, butter, cumin, and lime juice, then grill or roast in the oven until browned and tender.
- Stuff with a mixture of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary), ground almonds, pine nuts, and grated vegan cheese, then roast in the oven until browned and tender.
- Stuff with some lemon zest, dried apricots, walnuts, and chia seeds, then bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
- Stuff with onions, and vegan sausage, then bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
Delicata squash tacos
Delicata squash is a versatile winter squash that can be used in many different recipes. One of the best ways to use it is in tacos.
The amazing flavor of delicata squash pairs perfectly with the spices and flavors in traditional taco toppings, like avocado, cilantro, and lime. Whether you’re making tacos for a quick meal or serving them as an appetizer at a party, these delicata squash tacos are sure to be a hit.
Delicata squash soup
Delicata squash soup is a delicious winter soup that can be made with just a few simple ingredients.
You will need:
- 1 delicata squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 celery rib
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth or water
- Salt to taste
- Cut the delicata squash in half and remove the seeds
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat
- Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery rib, Italian seasoning, and pepper
- Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the squash and vegetable broth or water
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft
- Season with salt to taste before serving.
Delicata squash smoothie
Delicata squash is an excellent choice for a nutrient-dense smoothie with a creamy texture.
In order to make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 1 cup almond milk or other milk of choice
- 1/2 cup coconut yogurt (to make it extra creamier)
- A pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for flavor
- Peel the delicata squash and cut it in half.
- Scoop out the seeds and chop them into chunks.
- Let it steam to soften before adding it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend until thoroughly mixed together.
- Serve in glasses with straws.
Sautee with garlic, onion, and olive oil
Sauteing delicata squash is a delicious way to prepare it. Start by cutting the squash in half, scope off the seeds and peel off the skin.
Cut the squash into thin slices and add it to a large skillet or wok with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add garlic and onion and saute until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Added as a side dish in place of pasta or rice
Delicata squash is a delicious and healthy alternative to pasta or rice. It can be added as a side dish in place of either of those options, making it a healthy option for those who are looking for something different.
It is also a good choice for those who are watching their weight because it is low in calories and carbohydrates.
Things to do with leftover delicata seeds and skin
- Make delicata squash seed butter by blending the seeds with a little bit of olive oil and salt
- Bake the skin into delicata squash chips, which are really delicious and healthy too
- Roast the seeds whole for a crunchy, salty snack
- Add them to your favorite pancake or muffin batter for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition
- Grind up seeds and skin in a spice grinder or coffee grinder for delicata squash powder that you can use to add natural sweetness and color to baked goods or thickness in soups
- Throw some roasted seeds and skins on top of the soup just before serving for added texture and nutrients!
Delicata squash is a type of winter squash typically harvested between October and February.
It’s high in nutrients, including vitamins A and C, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Squash also contains beneficial dietary fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke when consumed regularly.
Also, it may help reduce arthritis pain, boost your immune system, promote healthy digestion, lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, and act as a healthy gluten-free option.
This squash can be eaten raw or cooked. It is especially delicious cooked in a creamy sauce with a little bit of garlic.
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