by Kendal Schmitz, Viterbo University Senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student
The United States imports more squash than any other country in the world! On top of that, within the U.S., about 400 million pounds of squash are produced each year. Winter squash originated in Central and South America, and people have been consuming it for over 10,000 years. China and India are now the top producers of this vegetable.
One cup of winter Squash contains only 80 calories.
The rich colors of winter squash come from its carotenoid content, which may help improve eyesight.
Squash seeds deliver great nutrients such as protein, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.
Winter squash is botanically classified as a fruit because it contains seeds.
Cheddar Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash, halved/ seeded
3/4 cup chopped ripe tomato
2 scallions or green onions—thinly sliced
1/4 tsp dried sage
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup cheddar cheese—cut into cubes
Instructions: Serves 4
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Place the squash halves in a roasting pan, cut side up
Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the pan
Combine tomatoes and scallions or onions
Season with sage, salt and pepper to taste
Mix well and divide the mixture evenly among the squash halves
Spoon 1 tablespoon of water over each and cover loosely with aluminum foil
Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until squash is tender when pierced by a fork
Divide cheese cubes evenly on top of squash halves, cook 5 more minutes and serve.
Kendal Schmitz is a Senior Nutrition & Dietetics Student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She is from Minnesota and is studying the connection between diet and cancer.