Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Meet Whole Foods: Hubbard Squash

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We had a family camp out in the living room on Saturday. The boys loved it. I made it until about 10 p.m. and then snuck off in my bed when everyone fell asleep - ha ha! No one would have been the wiser either, except I slept in - - so they all caught me! 

J (my four-year-old) gave us some laughs yesterday when he stuck both legs in his long johns when he was getting ready for bed. He started hopping around the room and kept tripping and falling and laughing.  I think it was straight giggles for about 10 minutes. The long johns are all stretched out now, but childhood is fleeting, so it was worth it! 

And now, for today's new whole food....

Meet: Hubbard Squash!

When we first moved into our home and planted our garden, we were thrilled to be able grow so many things. In the fall someone gave us some Hubbard squash from their garden that they couldn't use. We loved it! The next year and every year since then we've grown Hubbard squash in our garden. The first year we planted Hubbards, we grew a Hubbard Squash that we lovingly termed - The MOTHER of HUBBARDS! I don't remember how many pounds it was, but it was HUGE! Here's a picture of it.

Here's another Hubbard that we grew that same year:


This week I want to introduce you to these wonderful squash. They are so tasty and you can use them in many of the same recipes that you can use pumpkin in.

What is a Hubbard Squash?
Hubbard Squash is a winter squash type also known as green pumpkin or buttercup. It ranges in color from dark green (like those shown in the picture above) to grey or even bluish in color (we grew some of these lighter ones this year). There are also some varieties that are orange or red. Hubbard Squash has a very thick skin, making it ideal for winter storage.

How do I use it?
Hubbard Squash can be used in recipes that call for other winter squash. You can cook it in the microwave, roast it in the oven, or steam it in the pressure cooker or on the stove. Like other winter squash, the inner flesh is what is consumed. Once cooked, you can puree it and use it as a soup base or in pumpkin pie filling, or use it in other baked goods. It also makes an excellent baby food as it has a sweet flavor and nice smooth texture. You can also clean the seeds and roast them for a healthy snack.

Where can I buy them?
Hubbard Squash can be found in many major supermarkets during the winter months of the year. They will often be sold in pieces because the squash is so large.

How can I grow them?
Hubbard Squash are easy to grow as long as they have lots of sunlight and warm weather. They are similar to growing a pumpkin. You can find Hubbard Squash seeds at a local seed company or online.  Once harvested, Hubbard squash can store up to six months in a cold, dark place.

How healthy are they?
Winter squash, such as Hubbards are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are important for cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment. They also have been shown to be helpful in regulating blood sugar. They are high in vitamins and especially excellent sources of Vitamin A and C.

Got a Recipe? 
This week I'll be sharing some of my favorite recipes using Hubbard Squash. If you have a favorite recipe, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail!
Here's a little Hubbard Squash that was still growing

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