Today’s Superfood: Winter Squash

Winter squash is a very diverse fruit containing many varieties. All with different shapes, colors, and flavors. Winter squash is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids. The diverse assortment of winter squash makes it a great addition to snacks, meals and deserts. The best way to find your favorite is to taste new flavors!


The Seeds

10,000 years ago winter squash were desired for their delectable seeds. All winter squash contain a hollow inside that holds their seeds. The seeds of winter squash make them the perfect snack.

After opening the squash, scoop out the center. Next, separate the inside pulp from the seeds. Bake the seeds at 160 degrees for 20 minutes. Bag the seeds to create easy snacks!

Varieties of Winter Squash

Here are some of the popular choices:

Winter Squash Appearance Flavor Recipe Ideas
Acorn Small, resembling the shape on an acorn. A dark green skin with golden blemishes Sweet Slice in half, remove seeds, sprinkle with brown sugar and a little butter for a delicious treat
Banana A long squash that resembles a banana with golden orange skin Sweet A tasty and popular way to uses banana squash is roasting it for lunch or dinner
Butternut Squash Bell-shaped and beige in color skin and deep orange flesh Sweet and Nutty Peel, slice and cook butternut squash, puree and add seasoning for a winter soup
Carnival Squash Cream, orange, green spots and stripes this squash will sure remind you of a carnival Lightly Sweet Stuff carnival squash with quinoa, pasta or yours favorite ground meat
Spaghetti Squash Watermelon shaped and bright yellow in color Nutty Whip up a quick lunch! Slice squash in half, bake for 30min at 400 F, scape out flesh, add butter and Parmesan cheese


Winter squash are very diverse. They can be incorporated in both sweet and savory dishes. Also, many squash are interchangeable in recipes.

  • Rinse the squash under cool water to remove any debris
  • Helpful hint* microwave the squash for 1-2 minutes making it easier to peel and slice
  • Use a potatoes peeler to remove the outside skin
  • Slice the squash in half
  • Remove seeds and bake for a snack!
  • Continue slicing squash as desired
A fun and seasonal recipe from the Cupcake Project


1 pound elbow macaroni

20 ounces butternut squash

2 cups fat- free milk

2 cups grated soft cheese

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup diced onion

1 cup grated hard cheese

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon olive oil


Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions

Drain the macaroni and transfer it to a large bowl.

Place the squash and milk in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally and bring to a boil.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and combine until smooth.

Transfer back to saucepan and stir with grated soft cheese and ricotta until the cheeses are all melted.

Remove from heat and add salt, mustard, and cayenne pepper.

Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine.

Mix in the garlic and onions.

Fill cupcake liners with the mixture. Because this is mac and cheese and not cupcake batter, you don’t need to worry about the mixture rising.

In a small bowl, combine grated hard cheese, panko breadcrumbs, and oil.

Sprinkle mixture over the top of the mac and cheese cupcakes.

Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes or until topping is lightly browned.


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