Fall is the perfect time to discover squash! It’s the perfect season for them and they hold the fall flavours we love!

1. Butternut Squash:
• Is an awesome source of vitamin A needed for good health as it helps with the immune system and vision. Vitamin A is great for skin helping it look full. There are 2 sources of vitamin A and butternut squash is filled antioxidant properties
• Helps keep skin looking younger and full. Butternut also includes vitamin C needed for the immune system.
• Fall is a good time to make butternut squash soups so when it gets a little colder you have it on hand in the freezer! Also it is fiber rich which is great for keeping you regular.

2. Acorn Squash:

• If you have high blood pressure the potassium content in Acorn
squash is vasodilator so it can relax the blood vessels and arteries and allows to lower stress and blood pressure.
• Magnesium in this squash is a calming mineral, which helps with the uptake of potassium making the calming effects stronger! Also it is rich in Vitamin C which is awesome for immunity! Magnesium is a cofactor of many functions of the body.

3. Spaghetti Squash
• This is nature’s spaghetti and soaks up flavour like a sponge.
• Like all the other squash it is filled with vitamin A and C.
• Also it contains B vitamins specifically the ones that are best for cellular function. One being folate which is great for the development of new cells so if you are pregnant eat up!
• Also contains Omega 3, which is great for reducing inflammation and Omega 6 which is great for brain function.

4. Pumpkin:

People are used to just carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds but while that’s awesome you should be eating your pumpkin too! Potassium is also great for after a workout! Whip up a pumpkin smoothie to replenish yourself. You can cook pumpkins that are smaller in size. A large pumpkin is more fibrous and woody so choose a smaller one to eat! Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) also offers nutritional benefits!

• The seeds are great roasted and contain zinc which is also great for your immunity
• Also consuming pumpkins and other squash is great for eye health and help slow all macular degeneration

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Butternut Squash Pudding

Here’s what you need:
1 small butternut squash: halved and roasted (or diced and steamed)
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 dropper-fulls of alcohol free, pure liquid stevia (or use 2 tsp honey, or more to taste)
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
tiny pinch of sea salt

Prep! Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds if you can, but if not roast first for 10 minutes then cut it open. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with olive oil. Spray or rub the cut-side of the halves with olive oil, and roast cut-side-down for 40 minutes.Let them cool for several minutes, and then scoop out the flesh.
Combine the flesh in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Process for 2 minutes, until creamy and smooth, scraping the sides twice. Enjoy warm, or chilled in the freezer for an hour.

Acorn Squash Stuffed

1 acorn squash
1 large apple
3 small carrots
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and place the squash cut-side down. Add about 1/4 of water and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You want the flesh to be very tender! Meanwhile cook the bacon in a skillet over medium low heat until done and crispy. Remove from skillet and let cool before crumbling. Finely chop the apple (I left the skin on) and carrots and add to a new pan with some water and coconut oil. Saute for about 10 minutes until soft; add the almonds and saute another minute. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Stir in the maple syrup let the mixture sit until the squash is done add a little water if needed. Crumble bacon and stir into the apple mixture. When the squash is very tender carefully flip it over using tongs and put half of the apple mixture into the middle of each squash half. Bake another 5 minutes at 400. Serve hot!

Spaghetti: Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

5 pounds spaghetti squash (2 medium-sized squash)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1 cup shredded mozzarella or Daiya cheese
Chopped parsley or basil, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squashes in half and scoop out the seeds. Lay them cut-side down in a roasting pan or other baking dish, and add about an inch of water. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork. Transfer to a cooling rack until cool enough to handle.
While the squash is roasting, warm the olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and cook until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until well-browned, breaking up the beef into small crumbles, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering the sauce until the squashes are ready, 5 to 20 minutes.

Use a fork to shred the inside of the squash and it will come out like spaghetti, leaving about a half-inch of squash left in the shell. Mix the shredded squash into the tomato sauce in pan. In a separate bowl, the parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of salt with your hand.
Wipe out the roasting pan and arrange the squash shells inside, like bowls. Spoon in all the tomato and cheese together.
Add an extra 10 minutes to the cooking time.
Bake the shells for 15 minutes at 400°F. Sprinkle more cheese over the tops of the squashes and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes (For a more golden top, run the squashes under the broiler for a minute or two.)
Sprinkle parsley or basil over the tops and serve immediately. Leftovers will keep for 1 week in the fridge.

Pumpkin Salad!
1 Small Pumpkin (About 3-4 Pounds) Peeled, Seeded, And Cut Into 1 1/2 Inch Chunks
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Arugula
1/4 Cup Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 Cup Dried Cherries or Cranberries
3 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss the pumpkin pieces with the two tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Spread the pumpkin across a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork and is beginning to brown.
Cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
Place the arugula, pumpkin pieces, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries in a bowl and drizzle with the dressing.
Toss gently to mix, and then divide evenly between four plates.

Watch the segment here! http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=707419&binId=1.1487308&playlistPageNum=1