The delicata squash is named for its delicate skin, which is edible just like yellow squash or zucchini. It has beautiful green stripes that make it stand out among others in its family.
Why is it beneficial?
Delicata squash is low calorie and low carb, but has plenty of fiber to keep you full. Similar to other squashes, delicata has vitamins A and C which are two important antioxidants. It also has iron and calcium to support healthy bones and blood. Leaving the skin on increases your intake of these nutrients. Delicata is a great substitute for those who are gluten free because it is filling and can be spiralized into pasta.
When is it in season?
You can usually find local delicata beginning into winter and into spring or early summer. The season varies depending on weather. Be sure to buy organic since the skin is edible and very thin.
How long will it keep?
Your delicata squash will last a few weeks if it isn’t quite ripe yet. Ripe squashes will be yellow with green stripes, while unripe squashes will be light green with darker green stripes. Keep it in a cool dry place and avoid refrigerating. Try to eat it when it’s fully ripe to receive all of its benefits.
How do I prepare it?
Always wash it if you plan on eating the skin, and be sure to scoop the seeds out of the middle after cutting into it. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:
- Slice the squash into half-moon shapes. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. Roast at 425 degrees for 16 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Slice lengthwise and stuff the squash with whatever you like. Quinoa, spinach and ricotta, or ground turkey and diced tomato are good options. Then roast in the oven.
- Puree cooked squash to make a soup.
- Add roasted squash to salads, tacos, or quesadillas.
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