Produce Profiles: S - Z
The consumption of numerous species of wild strawberries has been documented as early as 234 B.C., but it wasn’t until a chance marriage of strawberries brought back to France from Virginia and Chile in the early 1700s that the modern strawberry was born. Today, the United States is the world leader in strawberry production, accounting for 20% of the total commercial crop. While strawberries are grown in every state, California leads the way in production supplying over 88% of the nation’s needs. Typically, the California season runs from late January through November, peaking in April and May. Florida, the second leading producer, supplies us with berries from December through April with their peak coming in March. We also import fruit from Central America during the winter months to meet the demand for fresh fruit.
Strawberries are a member of the rose family. They have the unique distinction of being the only fruit with the seeds on the outside. Strawberries have come a long way since that marriage in France some 250 years ago. Horticulturalists have continually worked to develop varieties that are resistant to insects, rain and drought; varieties that grow larger, more red and are more flavorful; and varieties that can sustain the transit times to get them to markets around the country and the world. It’s no wonder that today over 94% of the households in the United States consume strawberries with average annual consumption at 5 pounds per person.
When purchasing strawberries, you should look for bright red fruit that has fresh green leaves or calyx. Strawberries do not ripen once they are picked, so avoid berries that are very pale or are excessively white around the calyx. The berries should be free of bruises and mold. While some markets may still sell strawberries that are bulk, the vast majority of strawberries purchased in this country are field packed in plastic containers ready for sale. These containers come in a variety of sizes ranging from 8 ounces to 4 pounds. Also available are special containers that are carefully packed with very large berries that have long stems attached for dipping. Strawberries bruise very easily, so even though they are in a protective container, they should always be handled with care.
With an optimal storage temperature of 32 to 36 degrees, strawberries should be refrigerated as soon as possible after purchase. Place them in the coldest part of your refrigerator keeping them away from any moisture. Strawberries should be consumed as soon as possible after purchasing - within 2 to 3 days maximum.
Preparation and Uses
Never wash strawberries until just prior to use. Rinse the berries in a gentle stream of cold water and remove the calyx by cutting around it with a small paring knife. The uses of strawberries are many - cakes, pies, and cheesecakes; smoothies and various beverages; jams and preserves; and in a fresh fruit salad or topping a bowl of your favorite cereal - to name just a few. Of course, eating out of hand or dipping in chocolate or cream sauce is always a hit.
Strawberries pack a real nutritional punch. They are high in vitamin C (140% of the RDA), contain folate and potassium and are in low calories (45) with no fat or cholesterol. A single one-cup serving of strawberries also provides 12% of the RDA for fiber. But the real nutritional benefit comes from the high concentrations antioxidants such as anthocyanin and ellagic acid that help reduce the risk of heart attacks. They’re great tasting and great for you - a winning combination.
Summer squash refers to the soft squash varieties that are members of the Cucurbitaceae family of vegetables. Originating in Mexico and Guatemala, they are closely related to both cucumbers and melons. Like many vegetables native to the New World, early explorers brought these delicate vegetables back with them and they subsequently spread to the far corners of the globe. Today, China and Japan lead the world in production with Romania, Turkey, Italy and Egypt also among the world’s largest producers of summer squash.
Unlike hard shelled winter squash, the entire squash, including its flesh, seeds and skin, is edible. Also, in contrast to winter squash, summer squash varieties are quite fragile and do not store well for long periods of time.
The three principle varieties of summer squash include:
Zucchini Squash: This is by far the best known of the summer squash varieties. With a shape similar to a cucumber, its smooth skin can vary from green to dark green in color and will have stripes of speckles. Yellow varieties also exist but are not as common. The tender, slightly-sweet flesh is creamy white and contains numerous seeds. While the most desirable size for zucchini is between five and eight inches, it can easily grow to a foot or more in length.
Crook-neck or Straight-neck Yellow Squash: Similar in appearance to zucchini, its smooth skin is most often golden yellow in color, but occasionally you will find green-skinned variations. The straight-neck variety is actually genetically altered from its crook-necked cousin.
Patty Pan Squash: This small, saucer–shaped variety can be either pale green or bright yellow in color. They will vary in size from 1 to 3 inches across. The dense, cream-colored flesh is not as sweet as Zucchini.
While the name would imply seasonality, these squash are actually available all year long. When selecting summer squash, you should look for ones that have shiny, unblemished skin that is free of punctures or decay. Squash that is very small will often lack flavor and ones that are very large will be fibrous and contain tough seed. Handle them carefully as they are actually quite delicate.
Summer squash can be stored in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for up to seven days although 4-5 days is more practical. Do not wash them before storage as excess moisture will hasten the formation of mold.
Preparation and Uses
Wash summer squash immediately prior to preparation under a stream of cool running water. Cut off both ends and then proceed to slice as directed for the particular recipe you are preparing.
Some uses for summer squash include:
- Grating zucchini or yellow squash on a garden salad.
- Sautéing summer squash in a ratatouille.
- Slicing zucchini or yellow squash for shish kabobs.
- Serving raw slices of your favorite summer squash with vegetable dip as an appetizer.
- Adding zucchini to your favorite bread recipe.
Summer squash is a good source of vitamin A and a very good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. It is low in carbohydrates and calories and contains virtually no fat, cholesterol or sodium.
Is it a yam or a sweet potato? Let’s lay this controversy to rest. They are in no way related. A sweet potato is a member of the Morning Glory family while Yams are members of the Lily family. Yams are native to Africa while Sweet Potatoes are native to Central and South America. What we consume in the country is Sweet Potatoes. They were cultivated in this country by Native Americans before Columbus arrived. The word Yam became synonymous with Sweet Potato when Louisiana started using it the market their moist, orange fleshed Puerto Rican varieties back in the 1930s. The prime season for Sweet Potatoes is October through January but several varieties are available throughout the year.
In this country the varieties of Sweet Potatoes fall into two main categories…white and orange. A purple variety is also grown in Japan. The most common white flesh variety is the Jersey Sweet Potato. They are characterized as being drier and less sweet than the orange flesh varieties. However, they still possess excellent flavor.
The orange flesh varieties include:
Garnet: With deep red skin and vibrant orange flesh, this premium variety has a creamy texture and is very sweet. It is a favorite for pies, cakes and breads.
Red: These are very similar to the Garnet but the skin is not as dark. Again, it has intense orange flesh and is excellent eating.
Jewel: With bright, smooth, orange skin and sweet orange flesh, it is one of the most popular varieties.
Beauregard: Today it is one of the most widely available varieties of Louisiana “Yam.” It is characteristically somewhat rougher skinned than the Jewel but with its sweet, creamy, orange flesh it is a true crowd-pleaser.
Select Sweet Potatoes that are firm and without cuts or bruises. The ends should not be wrinkled. Their size varies greatly so you can generally find just the right potatoes for your particular need. Unlike some fruits and vegetables, once a Sweet Potato starts to go bad, you can not simple cut away the affected area as the taste of the whole potato will be compromised.
Sweet Potatoes should never be refrigerated until after cooking. They should be stored in a dry, dark place at 55 degrees. While they can last for several weeks you should plan to use your purchase within a week. Cooked Sweet Potatoes can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Preparation and Uses
Sweet Potatoes should be washed just prior to preparation. They can be baked or boiled until tender. They also microwave very well. Before baking or microwaving be sure to pierce them with a fork.
Once cooked, Sweet Potatoes can be used in a variety of ways ranging from simply a “baked” Sweet Potato to casseroles, French fries, salads, breads, and even desserts like cakes and pies.
Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A. One medium potato (about one cup) contains over twice your RDA (Recommended Daily Requirement).
Sweet Potatoes also contain 42% of the RDA for vitamin C, 10% of the RDA for Iron, 8% of the RDA for Thiamine and 6% of the RDA for Calcium. They are a good source of Potassium and the orange flesh varieties are particularly high in Beta-carotene as well. At just 140 calories per serving, they are a valuable source of nutrition for those people that are watching their weight.
Tomatoes are perhaps one of the most important commodities in the produce department for a variety of reasons. As a category, tomatoes consistently rank among the top ten fresh produce purchases. Perhaps of greatest significance, according to the University of California at Davis, the tomato is the single most important fruit or vegetable in terms of an overall source of vitamins and minerals. That brings us to the age old controversy - is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable. Botanically speaking, tomatoes are a fruit or to be precise, they are a berry. However, from a culinary (and cultural) perspective, tomatoes are a vegetable since they are typically served as a main course rather than as a dessert.
The origin of the tomato appears to be Central America although a body of evidence does suggest that Peru could also be considered. Regardless, it was the Spanish Conquistadors that brought the tomato to other parts of the world and gave it global significance. In North America, it wasn’t until the 1700s that the tomato began its rise to popularity. Today, the United States leads the world in production with Florida, California and Georgia our top producing states.
There are over 4,000 varieties of tomatoes from very small cherry tomatoes no bigger than a marble to gigantic heirloom tomatoes. In today’s supermarket customers are confronted with this ever-increasing and often-confusing variety from which to choose. Tear drop shaped, round, oval, yellow, orange, red, purple - the tomato choices and flavor profiles that accompany them continue to multiple. Here are some, but by no means all, of the more popular offerings:
Romas: Sometimes known as plum tomatoes, Romas are an oval shaped variety that is highly regarded for its flavor and their high solids content. Romas are excellent for sauces and cooking.
Gassed-green: These are the familiar, round tomatoes that are picked green and ripened in storage rooms using natural ethylene gas. Because they are picked green, they lack the flavor intensity of vine ripened varieties.
Vine Ripe: These tomatoes varieties have been allowed to ripen (or at least start to ripen) on the vine. The flavor will be more intense than a gassed-green tomato.
Grape: These tomatoes are a hybrid variety developed in Southeast Asia. They have a thick skin and very intense flavor. They were so named because they grow in clusters on the plant. Proprietary grape tomato varieties like Santa Sweets™ are so sweet they could almost be called a “snack” tomato.
Cherry: Cherry tomatoes are small round tomatoes that are usually less than an inch in diameter. Slightly sweet, they are great for salads.
On the Vine: These tomatoes are, as the name implies, sold still attached to the vine. Because they are left to ripen on the vine they are extremely flavorful. Offerings include red, yellow, and orange beefsteak as well as grape, cherry and Romas. The yellow and orange varieties have less acidity.
Heirloom: Heirloom varieties are produced from “old-fashioned” seed stock. Often times, they closely resemble the misshapen and scared tomatoes grown in a garden. Heirloom varieties can vary in size from small cherry tomatoes to large beefsteak varieties weighing over a pound. They also can vary in color from red to yellow to brown and everything in between. One thing they all have in common, though, is their distinctive “tomato” flavor that is remindful of a “homegrown” eating experience.
Look for tomatoes that are firm and blemish free (unless it is a Heirloom variety). Like other fruit, it should be heavy for its size.
NEVER refrigerate a tomato. Tomatoes have a flavor enzyme that will permanently stop producing flavor if the body of the tomato falls below 55 degrees. Store tomatoes on the kitchen counter and if they are a bit on the green side, they can be easily ripened in a paper bag. Try to purchase tomatoes using consumption as a guide to determine the right size and quantity. In other words, use the whole tomato once you have sliced into it. This way, you can avoid having to refrigerate the unused portion and you will always be able to enjoy the greatest taste. Tomatoes should be stored with the stem end up to avoid bruising the delicate “shoulders” of the fruit.
Preparation and Uses
Always wash tomatoes under a stream of cold water prior to use. Using a sharp knife is essential when slicing or dicing tomatoes. The uses for tomatoes are almost too numerous to imagine. Whether eaten raw in salads, sandwiches, and fresh salsas or cooked in one of literally thousands of recipes, the tomato is one of the most widely-consumed culinary ingredients in America.
As mentioned before, the tomato is of paramount importance when it comes to nutrition. Tomatoes are a tremendous source of vitamins A and C. In addition, they contain significant amounts of thiamine, niacin, potassium, beta-carotene, magnesium, riboflavin, iron, and phosphorus. The biggest news in tomato nutrition is that they contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer. You get all of these nutritional benefits with just 35 calories and 7 carbohydrates per serving.
These three root vegetables are usually found in the same area of the Produce department and are often used interchangeably in various recipes. Each one, however, has its own unique characteristics.
Parsnips: This root vegetable is closely related to carrots; in fact, they look similar to carrots but are tan in color with a white flesh. They have a nutty, sweet flavor and a fragrance similar to celery. Introduced from Europe to America as early as the 1600s, they were often used as a sweetener until the development of the sugar beet in the 1800s. Parsnips are grown in temperate climates as frost is necessary to bring out their flavor.
Turnips: These bulbous root vegetables are white on the bottom and reddish purple in the top where they have protruded from the ground and been exposed to sunlight. The green tops of turnips can also be eaten and are a familiar side dish in Southeastern U.S. kitchens. Interestingly enough, “turnip jack-o-lanterns” are a Halloween tradition in Ireland and Scotland.
Rutabagas: Very similar to turnips in appearance, they are a cross between a turnip and cabbage. The flesh of rutabagas is yellowish in color and they can grow to upwards of 6 inches in diameter. With origins thought to be in Scandinavia or Russia, these very large bulbous root vegetables are also known as “swedes” or Swedish turnips. Introduced to North America in the early 19th century, they are a popular food among people with Scandinavian heritage..
While these vegetables are available year-around, the prime season for them is fall and winter. Select parsnips that are between 5 and 10 inches in length, uniform in color and firm with no soft spots. Usually, the lighter the color the more tender they will be. Look for turnips that are less than 2 inches in diameter for maximum flavor and tenderness. The skin should be smooth and free of blemishes. Rutabagas selection should be based on need as the size has little to do with taste or texture. When selecting rutabagas, make sure there are no sunken areas or soft spots.
These three root vegetables store very well in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. Place them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag or wrap them in paper towels. Stored in this manner, they should last for two weeks and perhaps longer.
Preparation and Uses
Parsnips should be scrubbed not peeled prior to use. They can be boiled, mircowaved or roasted. Fresh parsnips will have a creamy, soft texture when cooked, but if they are too old, they will be bitter and fibrous. Parsnips are most often used in soups, stews or casseroles.
Scrub turnips and snip off the root end and leaf end prior to use. Small “baby turnips” that are less than 2 inches in diameter do not require peeling, however, larger turnips should be peeled prior to cooking. Turnips can be eaten raw and thinly-sliced turnips can be served on vegetable trays with dip. Turnips can be boiled, roasted or microwaved and make an excellent side dish. When boiled, turnips trend to have a bitter taste. To counteract this, boil a potato along with the turnips.
The first step in preparing rutabagas is to wash and peel them just like a potato. Depending on the recipe, they can be diced, sliced or left whole for cooking. They are then baked, boiled or microwaved. Typically, rutabagas are used in stews and casseroles, but other favorite uses are mashing them with carrots or using them in pasties, a traditional Scandinavian dish.
Parsnips contain several essential minerals including vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. They are an excellent source of potassium and are low in calories.
Turnips are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin B6. They are low in carbohydrates and contain only 34 calories per serving.
Rutabagas are a very good source of vitamin C and potassium as well as being a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, thiamin and magnesium. A one-cup serving contains just 50 calories.
Ugli Fruit or Uniq Fruit (they are really one is the same) wouldn’t stand a chance in a contest based on appearance alone. Taste, on the other hand, is a different matter. These Jamaican favorites are very sweet and very juicy with a mild citrus flavor.
The Ugli Fruit, believed by most to be a cross between a grapefruit, tangerine and Seville orange, has its origins near Brown’s Town in Jamaica. The resulting fruit has been exported around the world since 1914. Cultivation of this distinctive fruit is rather limited, thus, Ugli Fruit tends to be somewhat expensive. With its peak in January and February, the season for Ugli Fruit runs from December to April. While the fruit is all harvested when ripe, the later season fruit is the sweetest.
Look for fruit that is heavy for its size as it will contain the most juice. As the name implies, don’t worry about the outward appearance. The skin will be loose and winkled and will often vary in color from green to orange to yellow all in the same piece of fruit. Scars are common and of no concern unless there are breaks in the skin. Inside you will find the juicy, sweet orange flesh containing only a few seeds.
Like most citrus, Ugli Fruit will store for up to a week on the kitchen counter, but for longer storage, they should be refrigerated.
Preparation and Uses
Ugli Fruit may be cut in half and eaten like a grapefruit. However, since the thick skin is easy to peel, you may prefer to peel the fruit and section it like an orange or tangerine. In addition to making a great snack, it can be used in fresh salads or in any recipe calling for citrus segments. It also makes a wonderful marmalade. For a really refreshing treat try a glass of Ugli juice.
Ugli Fruit contain an abundant amount of vitamin C. In addition, they are a good source for dietary fiber and contain only 40 calories in an average size piece of fruit.
It is believed that watermelons originated in the Kalahari Desert region of Africa. Evidence of watermelon seeds in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen would indicate that they have been around for a very long time. Today they enjoy worldwide popularity with China being the number one producer and consumer of watermelon. In the United States, we produce over 4 billion pounds of watermelon annually with Florida, California, Texas, Georgia and Arizona, in that order, leading the way in production. That works out to about 13 pounds of watermelon consumed per person each year.
Although considered to be a fruit, watermelons are actually a vegetable that is closely related to cucumbers and squash. There are currently over 200 varieties of watermelon grown in the United States. Until recently, seeded watermelon controlled the market, however, over the course of the last ten to fifteen years that has changed dramatically. The marketplace is now dominated by seedless watermelon in most areas of the country.
Another development in the watermelon market is the “personal-size” melon, a smaller melon tailored to the needs of one or two-person households. Varieties such a Dulcinea’s Pureheart™ are gaining in popularity. While these small, 4 to 6 pound melons cost more per pound, their thin 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch rind means there is less overall waste. Their convenient size and super-sweet flesh make them a real winner.
Yellow flesh watermelons are also becoming popular. They are available both seeded and seedless. They taste the same as red flesh watermelons. Varying in color from pale yellow to nearly florescent yellow, they make an eye-catching addition to fruit salads and watermelon boats.
Selecting a ripe watermelon has been the subject of much debate over the years. Thumping the melon with your hand and listening for a hollow sound is an age-old method used by most people. A more reliable method, according to the National Watermelon Board, is to check the underside of the melon for color. First, look for a watermelon that is free of bruises or cuts and that is firm and heavy for its size. The surface should have a healthy sheen and if the underside is a creamy yellow color it is most often ripe and ready to enjoy.
Watermelon can be stored at room temperature for up to a week, but limiting storage out of refrigeration to two or three days is recommended. Once a watermelon has been cut, it should always be stored in the refrigerator.
Preparation and Uses
The single most important thing to remember about watermelon preparation is washing the surface of the melon. Prior to cutting into a watermelon, or any melon for that matter, the surface should be thoroughly washed to help prevent bacterial contamination.
No picnic would be complete without watermelon, but besides slicing for those outdoor festivities, watermelon can be prepared and used in a number of ways. Its flesh can be cut into cubes or scooped out with a melon baller to be mixed with other fruit in a fruit salad or a watermelon boat. Watermelon can also be used in smoothies and cold soups for a refreshing treat.
A two-cup serving of watermelon contains 25% of the RDA for vitamin C and 20% of the RDA for vitamin A. Watermelon is also a superb source for the antioxidant, Lycopene. (They actually contain over 4 times as much Lycopene as tomatoes.) With no sodium, fat or cholesterol and at just 80 calories per two-cup serving, they are a healthy and delicious.
Hard or winter squash comes in a variety of shapes- round and elongated, scalloped and pear-shaped with flesh that ranges from golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most hard squashes are vine-type plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer to mature than summer squash (3 months or more) and are best harvested once the cool weather of fall sets in. Winter squash have hard, thick skins.
Acorn: As its name suggests it is shaped like an acorn. Its distinct ribs run the length of its hard, blackish-green or golden-yellow skin. A favorite baking squash, it's easy to slice into halves. A small acorn squash weighs from 1 to 3 pounds, and has sweet, slightly fibrous flesh.
Banana: In shape and skin color, this winter squash is reminiscent of a banana. It grows up to two feet in length and about six inches in diameter. Its bright orange, finely-textured flesh is sweet. Banana squash is often available cut into smaller pieces
Butternut: Beige colored and shaped like a vase, it has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin with a fine-textured, deep-orange flesh. With a sweet, nutty flavor this squash tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. The more orange the color, the riper, drier and sweeter the squash will be.
Buttercup: Buttercup Squash are part of the Turban squash family (hard shells with turban-like shapes) and are a popular variety of winter squash. Buttercup squash has a creamy, orange flesh and is much sweeter than other winter varieties.
Carnival Squash: Cream colored with orange spots or pale green with dark green spots in vertical stripes, Carnival squash have hard, thick skins. The delicious yellow meat is reminiscent of sweet potatoes.
Delicata: An heirloom variety, it is also called Sweet Potato, Peanut squash, and Bohemian squash. This is one of the tastier winter squashes, with creamy pulp that tastes a bit like sweet potatoes. Size may range from 5 to 10 inches in length. Its thin, tender skin is also edible.
Gold Nugget: Sometimes referred to as an Oriental pumpkin because of its shape and color, it ranges in size from one to three pounds. Both the skin and the flesh are orange.
Hubbard: The extra-hard skins make them one of the best keeping winter squashes. They are very large and irregularly shaped, with a blue-gray skin that is quite "warted" and irregular. Hubbard squash is often sold in pieces because it can grow to cumbersome sizes. The yellow flesh tends to be very moist and requires longer cooking times.
Kabocha: Kabocha is the generic Japanese word for squash, but refers most commonly to a squash of the buttercup type. It has a rich sweet flavor, and often dry and flaky when cooked. Use in any dish in which buttercup squash would work.
Spaghetti: A small, watermelon-shaped variety, ranges in size from 2 to 5 pounds or more. It has a golden-yellow, oval rind and a mild, nutlike flavor. When cooked, the flesh separates in strands that resemble spaghetti pasta. The yellowiest Spaghetti squash will be the ripest and best to eat. Those that are nearly white are not very ripe.
Sweet Dumpling: This small, mildly sweet-tasting squash resembles a miniature pumpkin with its top pushed in. Weighing only about 7 ounces, it has sweet and tender orange flesh and is a great size for stuffing and baking as individual servings.
Turban: Turban Squash has colors that vary from bright orange, to green or white. It has golden-yellow flesh and its taste is reminiscent to hazelnut. With extravagant coloration they make a popular harvest ornamental or centerpieces.
Choose firm, well-shaped squash that are heavy for their size and have a hard, tough skin. Do not choose those that have sunken or moldy spots. Avoid squash with cuts or punctures in the skin. Also, slight variations in skin color do not affect flavor. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which is a sign of poor quality in winter squash varieties.
Place squash on top of thick pads of newspapers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location. Check on a regular basis for rot and use within one to three months. Hubbard squash and other dark-green-skinned squashes should not be stored near apples, as the ethylene from apples may cause the skin to turn orange-yellow.
Preparation and Uses
Winter squash matures on the vine and develops an inedible, thick, hard rind (except Delicata) and tough seeds. Because this rind makes most squash difficult to peel, it's easier to cook the unpeeled squash, and then scoop out the cooked flesh. Wash the exterior of the squash just before using.
To bake a whole (1 to 1 1/2 pound) winter squash, pierce the rind with a fork and bake in a 350-degree oven 45 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing with a fork.
For microwaving place halves or quarters, cut side down, in a shallow dish; add 1/4 cup water. Cover tightly and microwave on HIGH for 6 minutes per pound.
To prepare spaghetti squash, cut the gourd in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, then bake until tender. Or, wrap it in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes. Once cooked, use a fork to rake out the "spaghetti-like" stringy flesh, and serve. After cutting, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Spaghetti squash also freezes well.
All varieties are great for puréeing, roasting and baking. Once squash is cooked and mashed, it can be used in soups, main dishes, vegetable side dishes, even breads, muffins, custards and pies. Add peeled squash cubes to your favorite soups, stews, beans, gratins and vegetable ragouts. Dress any cooked winter squash with butter and herbs, a cream sauce, cheese sauce, maple syrup and nuts, marinara sauce or stewed fruit.
Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin A. It is also a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese. In addition, winter squash is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, thiamin, copper, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, niacin and copper.