Save the seeds! Seeds from winter squash make a great snack food, just like pumpkin seeds. They include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties.
Explore the many amazing winter squash varieties while they are in season! A few of Miss Bellevue Vegan's Favorites include:
Acorn squash is a great all-around squash, with moist, sweet, tender flesh. They are good for roasting, baking, steaming, mashing, and sautéing. Smaller ones are perfect for stuffing with a protein-rich pseudo-grain like quinoa and fibrous veggies to make an excellent vegan main course.
Butternut squash is the sweetest winter squash. It has a thick and moist flesh; its peel is comparatively thin and easy to peel. It's quite versatile as it roasts and sautés quickly. Best of all, is mashes and purees smoothly, with no thick strands or fibrous bits, making it perfect for soups.
Spaghetti squash is all about the texture. Once cooked the flesh will pull apart into thick, slightly crisp, noodle-like strands. Try it with tomato sauce or salt, pepper and Bragg's Nutritional Yeast.
Sweet Dumpling squash is small and quite cute! They have a yellow skin with bright orange or deep green stripes. The flesh is starchy with a slight corn flavor. The small size makes them perfect for stuffing and roasting. They are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C. For a complete, nutrient-dense, vegan meal, try stuffed with quinoa, spinach, hulled hemp seeds, sea salt, ground pepper, fresh garlic and olive oil. (See recipe below)
Checkout your local farmer's market!
An amazing, COMPLETE, plant-based protein that is extremely easy to digest.
"Complete" refers to amino acids. There are 21 different amino acids that can form a protein and nine that the body can't produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids. In order for a protein to be considered "complete", it must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts.
Hemp is also rich in two of the most important EFAs: Omega-6 and Omega-3.
Hemp has many other health benefits. To name a handful:
Stayed tuned for more hemp education from Miss Bellevue Vegan!
Plant-Powered Stuffed Winter Squash
2-3 sweet dumpling squash (you can use acorn as well)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 cups fresh spinach
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa
4 tablespoons hemp seeds
2-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (add more or less depending on your taste preference)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 375 F or 190 C.
- Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. (Remember, the seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds.)
- Place squash face-down in an oiled baking dish. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes.
- Remove squash from oven but keep oven on.
- Prepare the plant-based stuffing while the squash is baking: Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped bell pepper and sauté for 5-10 minutes. The add in spinach and sauté until spinach is soft and dense. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, add in nutritional yeast and mix well.
- Turn the squash upright in the baking dish and stuff with the plant-based mixture.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, add hemp seeds to the top of the stuffed squash, serve and enjoy!
EDUCATION & TIPS:
- You can cook with hemp seed, provided that the temperature doesn’t go above 350 F or 175 C. It's best to just add in hemp seeds after any warm meal is done cooking.
- The peel of sweet dumpling squash is generally tender enough to be eaten.
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Camp Muir, Mt. Rainer
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Owner of BEVEGAN® Grassroots Health. Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. AKA Miss Bellevue Vegan. Plant-Based Health Consultant. Vegan Athlete. Outdoor Enthusiast. Outdoor Gear Reviewer. Author. Cotopaxi Local Ambassador. Animal Lover. Dreamer. Believer.