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.
Fact: most edible gourds have a zucchini-like flavor, and are very mild.
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.
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.
Most squash are available year round, but typically peak in the autumn, or winter.
3. Butternut Squash
This squash contains carotenoids (powerful antioxidants) that can help prevent heart disease and cancer, and can boost your immune system.
4. Acorn Squash
The dark green and orange-hued squash is filled with fiber and it's great for roasting.
From the Organic Authority Files
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."
6. Blue Hokkaido Pumpkin
This grey-blue Asian specialty squash has a sweet and nutty flavor.
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:
Top image: Joe Shlabotnik