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Originally published October 21 2005

Experts tout the health benefits of winter squash

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Winter squash, including pumpkins and carnival squash, are available from August to March, and contain large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C.

How are acorns, spaghetti and bananas alike? It's not a trick question; they're all kinds of winter squash, and now is the time to eat them. The family of winter squash, which also includes pumpkins, butternut and carnival squash, is available from August through March, but the gourds are best during their in-season from October to November. They should have dull, not glossy rinds. The rinds should also be hard, because soft rinds may indicate that the squash inside is watery and flavorless. After removing the seeds and stringy fibers, bake, steam or boil the squash until tender. When cooking winter squash with water, try to minimize how much water is used to avoid losing flavor and nutrients. Winter squash is listed on the World's Healthiest Foods Web site ( because of its high concentrations of vitamins, especially vitamin A, which is good for the eyes, and vitamin C, a great antioxidant. One cup of winter squash has about 145 percent and 35 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, respectively. At about 59 cents a pound, winter squash is a wallet-friendly food, too. Step 1: Cut squash in halves lengthwise; remove seeds and fibers. Step 2: Combine chopped apples and orange, diced ham, brown sugar, and butter. Step 3: Place halves in shallow baking pans. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven or until tender. Step 1: Prepare crust; place crust in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; trim and crimp edges. Place squash halves, cut sides up, in a shallow baking dish or pan. Step 7: Garnish each serving with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream; sprinkle each dollop with cinnamon.

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