what do all these words have in common?

they are all varieties of winter squash....my next super food!
i will be preparing all of these varieties this week, as well as some pumpkin treats!
to start things off, i have to say that i am IN LOVE with butternut squash!!!!  and even though botanically, winter squash is a fruit, i consider butternut squash one of my favorite veggies!    so why is it a functional food?...why the hell not?...that is the question!!!
1)  It is a good source of Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate, Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6
2) It is very high in the phytochemicals beta carotene, which may slow the aging process, reduce the risk of some cancers and improve lung function, and zeaxanthin, which may help prevent macular degeneration, an eye disease commonly seen in older adults that impairs vision. 
3) One cup of cooked winter squash is only 75 calories, 1 gram of fat, no cholesterol and 6 grams of fiber.
4) It may reduce complications associated with diabetes! 
5) The seeds inside the squash are edible, so incredibly tasty when roasted, and provide about 10 grams unsaturated / "good" fats and almost 25% daily value of iron per ounce!!!

Winter squash is very good if it is simply prepared, by cutting it in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds (remember, you can save these and roast them later), placing each half cut-side down on a baking sheet with just a little water around it, baking it for 45 minutes - one hour at 375 degrees, and scooping out the sweet, soft flesh and serving it with either salt and pepper or a little maple or agave syrup.  However, there are so many other interesting ways to prepare winter squash...it can be used in sweet or savory dishes!...
pureeing it for creamy soups and sauces
roasting it in fat chunky pieces with other veggies
using it in baked recipes...pancakes, muffins, bread
putting it on pizza
substituting it for pasta (hint hint...spaghetti squash)

and for all you sceptics out there who are still into the low-carb baloney and are against winter squash because of its high sugar content...you are missing out on some incredible natural powers of an amazing super food.  yes, winter squash is about 37% sugar, BUT there is only 7 grams of sugar in one whole cup!  now...compared that to all the other crap you eat each day that contains added sugars....now is that really alot of sugar....i don't think so!!!  plus, you get everything mentioned above! 

i have been doing some research on winter squash and most of the sources say that the skin is inedible, however, i roasted butternut squash the other night with the skin on and it was fine!  more than fine, in fact, it added another level to the flavor, a little "nutty"ness! 

i will be posting my ideas for uses of pumpkin, butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash throughout the week and would love to hear about your recipes and ideas! 

I will leave you today with a little-known fact....i just found this out as well...
most canned pumpkin is actually blue hubbard squash!  fraud?  do you feel let down?  you have been eating squash pie instead of pumpkin pie all these years!  me?  i am ok with it!  still great nutrition and i would not want to prep the pumpkin myself!  the are all gourds...and gourds are good!!!

Here is what i am having for dinner tonight...roasted local parsnips...and some tuna and avocado...yum yum!