Fall gourds

Autumn brings many wonderful things. Rich cinnamon and spices are aplenty, as are other various winter squash and gourd varieties. Squash and gourds are decorative and come in totally crazy shapes, and most winter squash (and a few gourds) have an amazing flavor, too!

But how much do you know about the various gourd and winter squash varieties? Not much? No worries. You’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up a list of gourds and squashes to keep your meals interesting during colder months.

Winter Gourds

Fact: most edible gourds have a zucchini-like flavor, and are very mild. 

luffa gourd

1. Young Luffa Gourd (Ridge Gourd)

While you can’t eat a fully ripened luffa gourd, you eat them while they’re young. Buy a luffa gourd that’s six inches or less (this will ensure it’s young enough to be consumed) and enjoy.

Bottle gourd

2. Bottle Gourd

This green gourd resembles a large, fat eggplant, or cucumber. This gourd also comes in a long, thin form known as the cucuzzi.

Winter Squash

Most squash are available year round, but typically peak in the autumn, or winter.

Butternut squash

3. Butternut Squash

This squash contains carotenoids (powerful antioxidants) that can help prevent heart disease and cancer, and can boost your immune system.

Acorn squash

4. Acorn Squash 

The dark green and orange-hued squash is filled with fiber and it’s great for roasting.

Kabocha squash

5. Kabocha Squash

This squash also is known as a Japanese pumpkin. It’s full of beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. It’s great roasted, or in stews. Learn more about the Kabocha squash in the Organic Authority article, “8 Reasons We Love Kabocha Squash.”

HOKKAIDO BLUE SQUASH

6. Blue Hokkaido Pumpkin

This grey-blue Asian specialty squash has a sweet and nutty flavor.

Noodle squash

7. Spaghetti Squash

This very well may be my favorite squash. It tastes great roasted, or in a thick vegetable soup. This squash also makes a great, low-carb pasta alternative: Once this squash is cooked, its skin pulls apart and looks like noodles!

Want to find out more about squash and gourds? We’ve got you covered. Consult the following Organic Authority articles to read more about gourds and squash:

A Guide to Winter Squashes

7 Ways to Use Autumn Leaves and Gourds in Fall Decorating

Keep in touch with Abbie @AbbieStutzer, @ginchygal, and on Facebook           

Resources

Types of Squash, RealSimple.com

How to Eat Gourds, Livestrong

Gourds & Squashes: Types, Uses, Benefits, Free People Blog

Top image: Joe Shlabotnik

Winter squash and gourd images: D Yogi courtesy of Creative Commons, Pekinensislacatholiqueerin.kkrshaferlens, SaucyGlo, Cherry Galsemarr