Preparing Your Garden for Fall Squash
This winter squash season is upon us once again. In a short article series, I'm going to share with you some recipes, dish a quick tutorial, or even give plenty of hints for serving and cooking winter squash. A new squash season is kicking off this year and these babies are going to be on all winter long. Here are some of my picks for healthy and delicious side dishes to complement this yummy season.
Roast the pumpkins and squash until tender and the color should have changed to a nice shade of red. You can roast using a normal oven or microwave. Some people love the flavor of pumpkin seeds pureed into their dishes while others prefer the texture of a nice roast. Either way is fabulous! Pumpkin seeds add a slight touch of sweetness and make for an excellent dessert.
If you've never roasted before or are just not in the mood for the work, then you might want to try one mile specials. These are incredibly easy to make and are much tastier than standard grocery store varieties. One variety is a mixture of one mile long baby carrots, one cup of butter, one cup of brown sugar, and about one-fourth cup of cinnamon. When mixed together, these make a delightful roast for dinner.
The pumpkin doesn't necessarily have to be the actual fruit; it can be an equally delicious addition to your recipe as long as you don't end up adding a lot of salt. Get some good ground pumpkin and mix it in with a little bit of milk and a pinch of salt. When the liquid mixture boils, add the ground pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. If you want a sweeter dish, then use cranberries instead of fresh cranberries.
If you're looking for seeds to use in pies, cakes, or breads, look no further than your local produce sections. One variety that is very popular for this reason is the yellow or orange zest. When harvested, these seeds are used to make a delicious pie. You will need to use a food processor to chop them down and mix them into your pastry crust. For breads, this is also the perfect way to incorporate seeds into your bread and avoid using vegetable oil for the bread.
To avoid the possibility of botulism spores being present on your seeds, it's important that you clean off any uneaten food. In order to do that, it's important that you remember to put your food into its own pot or dish. Always put your winter squash seeds in a separate dish, like a small shallow baking dish. This will prevent any spores from spreading around to other parts of your home. However, be sure to wash any containers thoroughly after you remove the seeds from them.
You can help prevent the risk of botulism by washing your winter squash plants before you harvest them. This is especially true if you're growing them in a container. Squash leaves and stems should never be washed. Just be sure to wash any soil away from the roots as you grow new plants.
When harvesting your fruits, don't pull them too soon. Some varieties will ripen quickly while others will take longer. If you find that your squash is not ready yet, don't be afraid to wait an extra day or so. The longer you leave your fruits sitting on your counter or windowsill, the less chance there is of them becoming spoiled. To maximize your chances of getting the most out of your summer harvest, always wash the fruits before you store them. Leaving them in a moist environment increases the chance that botulism spores are harbored within the skin of the fruits.