Squash Recipes: 3 Recipes for Perfect Pumpkins and Savory Squash

Eating seasonally brings good health. These fall recipes are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and iron.

| September/October 2001

  • Antioxidant Soup, served in mini pumpkins, is a grand, healthy way to start a meal.
    Photo By Joe Coca
  • Antioxidant Soup, served in mini pumpkins, is a grand, healthy way to start a meal.
    Photo By Joe Coca
  • Antioxidant Soup, served in mini pumpkins, is a grand, healthy way to start a meal.
    Photo By Joe Coca
  • Antioxidant Soup, served in mini pumpkins, is a grand, healthy way to start a meal.
    Photo By Joe Coca

As autumn descends, vibrant oranges, reds, and golds dapple the countryside, especially at local farm stands and urban markets, where richly hued pumpkins and squash pile high in assorted shapes and sizes. You can enjoy these quintessential fall fruits in a variety of nutritious soups, appetizers, main dishes, and desserts.

For centuries, pumpkins and squash have been prized for their versatility and durability. Indigenous to the Americas, squash gets its name from the Native American word askutasquash. The Chinese call the pumpkin “Emperor of the Garden” and consider it the symbol of fruitfulness. Its name derives from the Greek word pepon, meaning “cooked by the sun.” Aptly named, pumpkins and winter squash are only eaten when fully mature, whereas summer squash such as zucchini and yellow squash are best picked young and tender.

Pumpkin Power 

While you enjoy fall’s harvest, you may also be protecting yourself against cancer and heart disease. Squash and pumpkins are packed with the powerful carotenoid and antioxidant beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Responsible for giving pumpkins and squash their brilliant orange hues, beta carotene has been found to boost immune function and help prevent cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration, or deterioration of the retina. Pumpkins and squash are also good sources of vitamin C, riboflavin, and iron. Plus, they’re low in calories, high in fiber, and fat- and cholesterol-free.



Pumpkin seeds and their oil have been used in folk medicine to heal wounds and scars and to treat prostate disorders. Recent studies show that pumpkin seeds contain protease inhibitors and free-radical fighters that may help heal intestinal viruses, reproductive disorders, and arthritis.

Squash Stats 



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