Sunday, April 26, 2009

Squash is so misunderstood

I have been thinking a lot about nutrition lately. And how to eat healthier without spending a lot of money to do it. Usually all I really have to do is look in my garden.

This year that means tomatoes, green peas, snap beans, broccoli, and garlic. I have been reading about Native Americans and their gardening choices. They mostly grew corn, beans, and squash. It grows fast, can be planted together, and generally produces a lot of food for a small space. The corn is planted first, and when the seedlings get about 4 inches tall, they planted beans around each corn plant. As they grew, the beans would climb up the corn stalks. The squash (pumpkin is actually a squash) would be planted in hills around the field.

It also appears that when you eat these three vegetables together, it creates a complete protein very similar to meat protein. So Corn+Beans+Squash = Meat. Very useful for those lean times when hunting was difficult. And with a seasoning of herbs gathered in the wild, very tasty.

Anyway...we don't generally eat a lot of squash. The kids don't really care for it, and the only way my husband had ever eaten squash (yellow crookneck, BTW) was fried. Except for the annual pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. I grew up eating patty pan, crookneck, and butternut squash. Can't say that I ever really liked it. But I ate it anyway.

I picked up a butternut squash on sale, thinking that it was something different and that different is good sometimes. I sliced it in half, scooped out the seeds, and turned it cut side down on a baking sheet. 375 oven until it was soft. My husband actually ate half of it by himself. It seems that he had never eaten any type of squash except crookneck and even then it was fried. He didn't really like it much so he thought that a squash is a squash, and so he doesn't like squash. He was wrong. We have eaten it several times since then.

Now I have something to add to my garden. If I can find a place to put it.

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