Emblematic of autumn, squash and other pumpkins satiate without weighing down while allowing us to gain vitamins at a time when the stalls are less varied. We take advantage of it. Shape, slimming and good looks guaranteed!
The Cucurbitaceae family is so large that there is a tendency to confuse the different varieties. To simplify things, let’s classify them in two categories: summer squash, featuring zucchini, and winter squash with their many stars: squash and company (butternut, acorn or spaguetti), the pumpkin and his close cousin the pumpkin, and the Halloween pumpkin. No matter our culinary preferences! All these fruits (yes!) That we cook like vegetables conceal “healthy” qualities, and we have every reason to taste them in the dreary season in order to put a little color and pep on our plates.
Squash are good for the diet
The big advantage of squash is that it is both dense and low in calories. An example: 100g of cooked pumpkin = 25 kcal. And they are doubly satiating: one, thanks to their fibers, two because it is customary to decline them in soups, gratins, pies … so many nourishing recipes that stall! If we do not abuse cream, butter or cheese in the preparations, these dishes remain real good plans for a good meal without increasing the calorie bill.
A slimming tip: all stringy, spaguetti squash can replace classic pasta! 100 gr (uncooked) only provide 27 kcalories against more than 350 for “real” spaghetti. In addition, this vegetable spaguetti is gluten free. Express recipe: cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, bake for 20 minutes on each side, then scrape the flesh with a fork to remove the yellow filaments. It remains to be accommodated at will.
Squashes are a “tan” in winter
Another bonus: the orange color of winter squash testifies to their super concentration in beta-carotene, this vitamin that gives good glow like melons and peaches in midsummer. An example: the pumpkin contains twice as much as the carrot! The health trick: to increase the assimilation of beta-carotene by the body, it is necessary to incorporate a little fat in the recipes (olive oil or nuts or sunflower or pumpkin seeds).
Good for the balance of the skin too (mucous membranes, vision and the immune system), vitamin A which squash are particularly endowed with. An example: 100 g of cooked pumpkin offers the equivalent of 42.71% of the Nutritional Reference Values (NRV). Vitamin C is not to be outdone: of all its sisters, butternutt squash has the maximum amount. Brief reminder: it is a key vitamin in winter because it strengthens the immune system and helps prevent minor ailments due to cold (cold …).
Squash boost energy
And that, thanks in part to their potassium. Acorn squash and pumpkin provide a good dose. An example: the equivalent of a cup of cooked pumpkin flesh provides more than a banana, a benchmark in the field. To be preferred especially when playing sports because potassium helps muscle contraction. Also good to know: a deficiency in this mineral can cause muscle cramps, abdominal pain and constipation.
Don’t like squash? Fall back on the seeds as a snack or to decorate a cottage cheese … Squash seeds are rich in protein (about 20%), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron …), and in fiber. However, be careful, they are caloric: 100g represent approximately 450 kcal. But their glycemic index is low (so no blood sugar spike) and their high oleic acid content increases good cholesterol.
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