This year Buffman (Shawn's middle son) has joined forces with his grandmother, Shirley, to bring you their thoughts on the healthiest vegetable's you can grow. They consulted Shirley's vast knowledge of gardening and nutrition and www.whfoods.com.
Winter squash is good source of antioxidants. One of the benefits of winter squash is its ability to regulate blood pressure and aid in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Winter squash is easy to grow--you just need some room for the vines to grow. Gram likes to plant squash in hills--she plants about 8 seeds per hill leaving about 4' between each hill. When the plants reach 2" high she thins out all but the three most vigorous looking plants (per hill).
Winter squash can easily rot if its damaged, so it’s important to carefully inspect it before purchase and to use care when harvesting fresh winter squash. The best fruits are firm, and heavy. Winter squash has a much longer storage life than summer squash. Depending on the variety, winter squash can be kept for between one week, to 6 months.
The easiest way to cook butternut squash is to cut in half (along the length) and bake it face down in a baking dish with a little water. Once it's cooked you can easily scoop out the flesh and use it in your favorite recipe.
This is one of Jess's favorite recipes (from her mother--but, we're not sure where she got it from, maybe the food network)
Roasted Butternut and Garlic Soup:
- butternut squash--about 2 pounds
- 3 T olive oil
- I head of garlic--whole, unpeeled
- 2 1/2 C chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1Cup Hot Water
Preheat oven to 350
- Slice squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Rub the cut side with olive oil & place it slice side down in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle garlic cloves around the squash then add the water. Bake for 1 -1.5 hours or until the squash is very soft. When its cooked remove from the oven and let it cool enough to handle.
- Scoop the squash pulp into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Squeeze the garlic cloves into the food processor.
- Process for about 30 seconds until it's very smooth. Add the stock, a half cup at a time, pulsing between additions. Add salt and pepper.
- Reheat if needed and adjust seasoning.