Don’t let the name fool you. Winter squash becomes abundantly available on grocery shelves starting in the autumn months. Cooking winter squash for Senior Citizens makes a healthy side dish for Thanksgiving or any fall meal. To select the freshest produce, look for ones that are firm and heavy with dull rinds. When stored in a cool, dry place, it can stay fresh for 3 to 4 weeks. Once cut, however, keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
What Are the Health Benefits of Winter Squash for Senior Citizens?
Winter squash promotes optimal health with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and insulin-regulating properties. It is also an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as manganese, copper, potassium, and dietary fiber.
Types of Winter Squash
Winter squash originated in Mexico and Guatemala. Initially, people grew them for the seeds. Throughout the years, human cultivation has created an assortment of squash with a sweet-tasting flesh, a hard protective shell, and a long shelf-life. As a result, there are many different varieties available in supermarkets today, including:
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Hubbard Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
Cooking Winter Squash for Senior Citizens
Unlike its cousins, summer squash and cucumber, winter squash is best when cooked. Heat makes the fibers easier to digest. At the same time, overcooking will break down nutrients. The fool-proof way to cook winter squash is to steam it over boiling water for 7 minutes. Quick steaming softens the fibers while maintaining nutrients and flavor.
Healthy Rosemary and Feta Butternut Squash Recipe
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 sprig rosemary
3 oz crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill a steamer with 2 inches of water over medium-high heat
2. While the steam builds, cube the squash and chop the rosemary
3. Once the water has reached a full boil, add the cubed squash to a steam basket, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and steam for 7 minutes
4. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, feta, salt, and pepper.
Winter Squash for Senior Citizens
Shopping and cooking winter squash for Senior Citizens is easier when you have extra help. The Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides (CHHHAs) at Anita’s Angels, Inc. are here to support their clients with staying healthy and independent for as long as possible. We are Families Helping Families. Let’s talk about how our family can help yours—call 908-788-9390.