Butternut or Acorn, which do you prefer?

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With the cool fall days upon us are thoughts and appetites turn to hardier dishes that can also be healthy as well.  Also, if you looking for local produce you can't beat the hard squashes which are all harvested locally at this time of the year.  The hard squashes include names like Carnival, Delicata, Buttercup, Turbin (don't try to eat this one, more for decoration), Calabaza, Sweet Dumpling... and of course Pumpkin, but the 2 most popular squashes are Acorn and Butternut.  Do you prefer Acorn or Butternut?  I am a Butternut lover for a couple of reasons; one is I love the richer color and flavor of the butternut squash (a slightly nutty flavor, thus the name butternut) and because of the color Butternut delivers a whopping dose of healthy beta carotene, also known as vitamin A.  Just a 3 1/2 oz serving of butternut contains more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A! 

All of these aforementioned squashes are difficult to cut, a quick tip is to use a heavy kitchen knife and pierce the squash in several places, then place in the microvave for 2 to 3 minutes, let cool then cut.  You will find it much easier and softer.  Just a side note in many of our markets you can buy fresh butternut squash already cut, cleaned and cubed.  My favorite way to cook butternut is cut into several wedges, toss with a small amount of canola oil, a little salt and pepper and roast in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes.  The high heat caramelizes the sugars in the squash and you can enjoy this healthy dish without any butter or sugar. 

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