Just like bears, when winter rolls around we go into a sort of hibernation. When the days get shorter and colder we bundle up in our warm jammies and cuddle up on the couch with comfort foods. And then, just when the warm weather starts to wake us up out of our winter food coma we wonder how our once loose jammies got so snug. Then the inevitable frantic race to lose the weight before summer begins. As you know, I’m not one for crash dieting or any sort of crazy “slim down for summer” programs, so spare yourself the trouble, put down the third bowl of mac ‘n cheese and try experimenting with winter squash (I know, not as glamorous as mac ‘n cheese, but nevertheless, I promise, yummy!).
Here’s why squash is awesome: There’s more than 10 types of winter squash to choose from (butternut, delicata, acorn, pumpkin, and spaghetti squash just to name a few…) and they’re awesome choices if you want something warm, sweet, and filling. They’re high in fiber and water, which means you’ll feel fuller quicker and can eat more without the copious amounts of calories (just lay low on the butter and brown sugar). And they’re a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, and Omega 3′s.
Try this awesome Mashed Maple Squash recipe from Eatingwell.com.
My mom just emailed some interesting and very helpful info for cooking with maple syrup! This isn’t surprising to me in the least, because if there’s anyone who knows everything it’s her. Want to know the definition of “sesquipedalian”? She knows! Or, need an idea of how to make a diorama on bees that would make Martha Stewart swoon with delight? Yup, she knows that too! Thanks Mommy! (Yes, I’m an adult that still calls my mom “mommy”.)
You may want to share this with your ‘people’. After reading a story (with one of my classes) on maple syrup tapping in Vermont, I discovered the following:
Grade A – derived from the first of the season sap ‘drippings’ of the tree
lighter in color and sweeter
Grade B- derived from a later in the season sap
darker in color and more robust and hearty – best for vegetables, meats and
dishes not of the dessert variety
While both are sweet, the B is heartier. One tends to need less of it, hence, less calories. It is also advisable to mix the grade B with a bit of hot water to thin it out and make it go further on veggies, chicken, etc., Most will not know the difference. I, for one, am going to use only grade B from now on. If I do see a deficiency in sweetness, I will add a bit of Splenda. Even if thinned out with a bit of water, the B is still thick enough to nicely glaze whatever you intend it to glaze.