Next week is Thanksgiving so stock up on all your fresh fruits and vegetables for your Thanksgiving feast this Saturday at the Ramona Certified Farmers' Market!
 
We have a new Certified Organic Producer this week:
Tom King Farms, of Ramona, Ca.
This weekend they will have a variety of winter squash: Butternut, Tahitian & yellow pumpkins as well as eggplant, sweet peppers, pomegranates and Persimmons. 
 
Looking for a delicious, healthy Thanksgiving recipe?
Try our family favorite!:
 
 
 RRR Oven Roasted Winter Squash
 
 
Use your favorite type of winter squash (or a variety!): Butternut, Acorn, Tahiti, Delicata, Spaghetti, etc.
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 
Cut squash in half lengthwise (place in microwave for a few minutes so it becomes soft enough to cut through) and remove all seeds with a large spoon
 
Fill bottom of 13in X 9in baking pan with water (about  1/4 of the way up the side of the pan)
Place squash flesh side down into pan of water
Place in oven and bake 45 mins-1 hour (depending on the size of your squash)
 
poke with fork to test for doneness (fork should easily poke through skin)
 
Drain most of water out of pan and turn squash over (flesh side up) in pan 
Baste squash with butter, garlic pepper and paprika
 
Turn oven to high broil and cook for another 4-5 minutes (until squash bubbles and lightly browns with butter and spices).
 
Slice serving size portions off of the main squash (about 4-5 inch pieces), keeping the shell intact
 
To Serve: place serving size portions on guest's plates.
To Eat: scoop squash directly out of shell with fork.
 
Enjoy!
 
Facts on Winter Squash:
 
Butternut Squash
Seasons/Availability
Butternut squash is available year round. 

Current Facts
The Butternut is the most widely grown winter squash.
Description/Taste
Producing a rich, golden-yellow flesh with excellent texture, Butternut squash is one of the most popular varieties of hard winter squash. Butternuts are a smooth, long-necked bowling pin- or bell-shaped squash, encased with a pinkish-tan, hard rind. Having a relatively small seed cavity in its bulbous end, the tender flesh offers a creamy flavor. This old favorite offers fine eating and consistent flavor. Yielding more meat than most other squashes, Butternuts weigh two to five pounds. 
 
Nutritional Value
All squashes provide vitamin A and vitamin C, some of the B vitamins, and are a good source of fiber. One cup of cooked squash has about 100 calories. Deep-colored squashes have the most beta carotene. 

Applications
To prepare, cut rinsed squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Bake, roast, steam, braise, sautee or puree. This squash is ideal for soups and stews. To store, keep whole squash at room temperature. Butternut squash is an excellent keeper. Wrap cut pieces in plastic; refrigerate up to five days. 
 
 
Tahitian Squash-
 
 
Current Facts
The Tahitian squash, AKA Melon Squash, of the squash family, C Moschato, and a distant relative to the butternut squash, is considered a storage squash, a notation that the squash will keep well into the winter months as a cellar vegetable. This is an advantage of the Tahitian squash over many other winter squash varieties which are known to decay. 

Description/Taste
The Tahitian squash is heavy, weighing anywhere from eight to thirty pounds at maturity. It has the appearance of a large elongated butternut squash with lengthwise furrowing and some crookneck shape tendencies. Its coloring are vivid like the fall colors of an aged orange maple leaf. Inside the winter Tahitian squash's hardened rind is a thick, firm, dry flesh with rich golden colorings. The flesh contains an easily removable seed cavity at its bulbous end. The flesh has a very high sugar content and thus caramelizes as it cooks, its flavors becoming fragrant, nutty and sweet. Its texture will actually be somewhat fibrous, though, reminiscent of spaghetti squash vs. butternut squash. 

Nutritional Value
The Tahitian squash is loaded with beta carotene and anti-cancer properties. It has been medically proven to lower the chance of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. As with all winter squashes, the Tahitian squash is about 80% water, thus it is very nutrient dense. 

Applications
Although the size of a Tahitian squash can be imposing when considering how to cook an entire squash for one meal, you can actually cut off what you need and leave the remaining squash on the counter. The cut surface will harden and seal, preserving the flesh. In fact, it is recommended that the squash is not refrigerated, as when chilled, the sugars in the flesh convert to starch. Tahitian squash can be used raw or cooked, though its flavors are far more intriguing when cooked. Tahitian squash can be transformed into soups, purees, cakes, muffins and raviolis. Great companion ingredients and spices include apples, butter, ricotta, aged cheddar cheeses, nuts, pears, chiles, curry, rosemary, cinnamon, citrus, chorizo, bacon and poultry. 

Geography/History
Squashes have been growing wild and cultivated for over ten thousand years, though their original culinary usage was for their seeds, as early squashes had little flesh and tasted extremely bitter and inedible. The path of the Tahitian squash evolved from trade between the New World and Old World. Seeds from New World squashes were taken to the island of Tahiti where the Tahitian gourd was first cultivated. Its seeds would eventually travel through Europe and back to the Americas. The Tahitian squash requires much patience in growing, taking 200 days to mature and another 30 days to truly ripen, thus the majority of a calendar year is dedicated to bringing it to harvest. 
 
 
*Sources-
 
 
Ramona Certified Farmers' Market
Saturday 9am-1pm
1855 Main Street (Kmart lot)
Ramona, Ca. 92065
(760) 522-0169

Tags: Ca, Ramona, butternut, oven, roasted, squash, tahitian, winter

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