Winter Squash - A seasonal bargain with variety! - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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Winter Squash - A seasonal bargain with variety!

 Tis the season for an abundance of winter produce! Winter Squash to be precise. Most people think of pumpkin pie and stop there when trying to figure out what to do with these prolific growers that usually just make great fall decorations.If you're a gardener, you'll also be delighted to know there are more uses for this winter crop than pie!

Most folks will just pass up this seaonal bargain food because they believe it is too difficult to work with or they really don't know the wide variety of things that can be done with winter squash. At bargain prices between $.39 to $.79 cents per pound, ounce per ounce this delectable winter veggie can stretch in to any menu for pennies.

There's also a reason for this food to be in season in the winter. The nutritional content of winter squash is vital to our winter health.  With loads of fiber ( 1 cup winter squash contains 5 grams of fiber) and the deep rich color (1 cup containing  150% of your RDA of vitamin A) it is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium and mangenese, folate, omega 3 fatty acids, copper, vitamins B5 and B6, niacin and thiamin. Each of these vitamins (and the tandum synergistic combination) help to combat the winter blahs, lack of sunshine, loss of energy that can be associated with cold weather and help bolster our immune system to combat cold weather ailments such as the flu. The benefit of getting them in the REAL FOOD of winter squash vs. a pill is that your body really does know how to use those nutrients when consumed as a food.

So here are a few ideas to stretch this frugal and healthy seasonal jewel:

  • Add to muffins 
  • Add to mac & cheese
  • Make into creamy soups
  • Try as a side dishe with brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Try roasted, grilled and mashed

The variety is practically endless.

If you would like recipes for these suggestions and video tips on just how easy using this bargain stretching veggie can be, be sure to sign up for our newsletter before October 31st (when the recipes go out!) at  (don't forget to click the confirmation email you'll receive or you won't get the newsletter in time). If you sign up in time you'll be loaded up with some out of the box winter squash ideas that stretch your food budget and redefine some 'comfort food' recipes!

For more freebie tips "LIKE" us on Facebook

For even more stretching ideas, listen to "Encouragement in the Kitchen" at 5:00PM Eastern Mondays - Thursdays (or even catch up later at the same link when you have the time). We will be talking about the great upcoming recipes and tips today - 10/25/11

Until next time - keep stretching your dollars and learning new skills!

Best Blessings and enJOY the journey!

Donna Miller








Cheryl said:

I think my favorite autumn winter comfort food, as far as whole foods go, is mashed butternut squash. I don't put sugar in it because IMO it doesn't need it, and neither do hubby or me.

I split them, scoop the seeds and roast till very tender. Scoop the flesh into a big serving bowl and add a little butter and cinnamon, or a little nutmeg, mashing it in the bowl with a fork. Still piping hot when it gets to the table too. I highly recommend nutmeg for a different flavor.. gives it that hint of eggnog flavor!

The seeds don't get wasted. I let the strings and seeds dry out before handling them (makes it easier) then separate them. I then toast the seeds and keep them in a baggie for snacks or to add to salads or even in muffins for crunch.

Donna, a couple yrs ago (I think) I read something you posted about being more mindful of bits of food that we toss. An apple with a bruise for instance, telling us we can cut off the bruised area and still use the rest in a fruit salad. That has stayed with me and I'm now more mindful than ever when I'm considering tossing something, if there is any way I can repurpose it, recycle it, or use even a part of it before I toss it.

Great blog post!

October 30, 2011 7:49 PM

Millers Grain House said:

Hi Cheryl!

Great comment. Yep, using the butternut (my favorite one too) as simply as a replacement for mashed white potatoes (more nutritious too) is a great twist for fall! And seeds are so yummy!

We're doing several different winter squash today - helps heat the house too (o:

Your last paragraph...oh how kind of you to share that with me!! It really does my heart good and is SO encouraging! Thank you!! It is just a joy to think that my 'weird thoughts' have at all been helpful to you to stretch your food budget! Thank you for sharing that it has helped! Bless you!


Best Blessings!


October 31, 2011 8:11 AM

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About Millers Grain House

Donna Miller is the wife of almost 29+ years to the love of her life Joseph, the mother of three home-school graduates and has one daughter-in-law. She is the hostess of the radio shows Your Preparation Station, Surviving on Shoestrings and Encouragement in the Kitchen . She and her husband are the Organizers of WNC Preparedness Group in Asheville, NC. She is an Adjunct Instructor for Frontier Christian University. She teaches local classes and ladies retreats for people to learn hands-on lost skills. She is a teacher, author, sought-after speaker and trainer. She and her husband are the owners of Millers Grain House and are the founders of PREPARE Magazine .

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