Monday, April 25, 2011

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

By Guest Blogger Peter

Often people don’t know what they would eat if they adopted a plant based diet. Basically it’s only because they are not familiar with the huge range of plant foods available.

What Australians call pumpkin Americans call winter squash. Winter squash is a summer-growing annual vegetable which includes several species within the genus Cucurbita. There is a wide range of winter squashes however in Australia two of the most popular varieties are Japanese (a.k.a. Jap) or Kent squash and butternut squash. Both when ripe have deep dense orange flesh and give a lovely colour and flavour to most recipes.
Winter squash can be baked, steamed, mashed, pureed, boiled and even microwaved. It’s an incredibly versatile vegetable used in soups, stews, pies, etc. Winter squash is ideal when a soup or stew requires thickening. It can be used in sweet or savoury dishes. Furthermore winter squashes are low calorie foods with about 40 calories per 100g. Squashes store well in the proper conditions, namely a dry cool place.
I think just about anyone can prepare the following simple dish:

Microwaved butternut squash

Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. There is no need to peel the skin.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Cook in microwave on high for about 4 minutes. If not fully done give it a little more time.
The skin can be eaten. For those who don’t like the skin the flesh can easily be scooped out.