Winter squash varieties available at local grocery store. As our warm days here in Central Oregon get fewer and farther between, it’s a great time to start thinking of ways to incorporate more seasonal produce into your recipes. We visited Newport Market and checked out their abundant winter squash selection that’s just starting to make it’s way to the stands.

Why we love winter squash

Winter squash is actually harvested in the fall and are called “winter squash” because they are hardy enough to keep through colder months. They are incredibly versatile and can be used in soups, casseroles, and pastas. There are plenty of varieties to choose from and we love incorporating winter squash in recipes to pack in Vitamins A, B6, C, and E. The flesh is mild to sweet (not overpowering), so incorporating winter squash into your favorite recipes is a cinch.

The lowdown on starchy vegetables

Starchy veggies (like the many varieties of winter squash) are high-quality carbohydrates that pack in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Yes, they are higher in calories than nonstarchy veggies (like leafy greens)–something to keep in mind when meal planning.

Because winter squash are high in fiber, they can play a great role in weight-management as well as lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Moderate portions of starchy vegetables bulk up meals and keep you full longer. So if you’re looking for a healthy source of complex carbohydrates, think winter squash!

Get to know your winter squash: Our favorite sources of info on this delicious veg

The Epicurious Visual Guide to Winter Squash
Get to know 12 delicious varieties, from pumpkin and butternut to acorn and spaghetti. Recipes included!

Cooking Light’s Guide to Winter Squash

Co+op’s Winter Squash Guide
Helpful selection tips and some information on lesser known varieties, like the blue hubbard squash.

Cornell University’s Winter Squash Growing Guide
If you want to harvest your own squash next year, this is an excellent guide for first time growers.