Banana squash is economical as well as tasty

Banana squash - a winter squash

An unusal giant winter squash

On a beautiful family farm near Silver Lake Provincial Park (Ontario), where my parents used to take my sister and I to camp every weekend during the summer, I discovered an intriguingly large vegetable new to me. It goes by the name banana squash.

These cylindrical squashes can be gigantic, growing to sizes of up to 3 feet long and 35 pounds. Mine measured only 1.5 feet long and weighed in at 5.1 pounds, without the seeds.

The rind was thick and tough on this winter squash variety. I carefully dissected my monster on a bread board using a large chopping knife. The seeds were fatly impressive and I saved a few to dry so my daughter could try to grow some more of these things herself next summer. She likes experimenting with unusual plants.

How to roast this veggie

The orange flesh looked similar to Kabocha or Butternut. I decided to roast just half of my banana squash, flesh side down, on a heavy cookie sheet at 375F in the oven for an hour, bathed in a little water.

When it was fork tender, I turned it right side up and filled the cavity with some butter, a sprinkling of coconut palm suger, cinnamon, ground pepper, and a little salt and let it bake a few minutes longer.

Nutrition info

The taste is rather mild, so we liked it well dressed, with butter and a little sweetener, as well as salt and pepper.

Fat free, cholesterol free, and sodium free, banana squash is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C. It also provides the minerals iron and calcium. Without dressings, it has just 20 grams in a half cup serving. The butter and sugar are extra!

Like all colorful vegetables, this squash is beneficial for healthy skin and hair, as well as for its action as an antioxidant protecting against cellular damage.

As there are only two of us for dinner, I will use the left-overs to make soup or a filling. Stay tuned for future recipe ideas featuring squash, now in season.


Simply squash

Squash-o-copia - butternut, acorn, ambercup
Squash-o-copia:   butternut, acorn, and ambercup

“Simple!” Dr. Mike says. “Roasted squash is a delicious, low-fat side dish. Enjoy it on my 17-day diet, once you’ve completed the first cycle.”

So I decided to give it a try. The roasted butternut was so good, my friend ate the skin! I suppose that’s one way to boost your fiber – but not one I’d really recommend :). Squash tastes wonderful with lean poultry or pork.

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