Although we sometimes call them sweet potatoes “yams” they are actually a different plant. Yams, which are native to Africa and Asia, are not found in North American. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes because they have more vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Beta Carotene, Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. They also add natural sweetness to many dishes.
Storage and Preparation
Sweet potatoes should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place; not in the fridge! Sweet potatoes will keep for 1-2 weeks when cool and dry. Scrub sweet potatoes under water before use. Scrub sweet potatoes under cool water just before use. Keep the skins on for extra fiber!
Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes because they have more vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Beta Carotene, Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. They are also fat and cholesterol free and can add a natural sweetness to many dishes.
Their hearty texture makes mushrooms a perfect stand-in for meat in many vegetarian recipes. Vegetarian cookbooks are filled with many mushroom recipes including a few of my favorites from The New Vegetarian Epicure (adapted here).
Storage and Preparation
Keep these mushrooms in a bag in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. Do not wash them. They will last for about 1 week as long as they don’t get wet. These oyster mushrooms are grown in pasteurized straw and organic millet. It’s a very clean process with no dirt involved so there really isn’t any need to wash them. You may want to remove the very tiny amount of straw at the base where they were cut, but the whole thing is edible.
While they look fairly exotic, these mushrooms can stand in for white mushrooms in most recipes– we just wouldn’t recommend stuffing them, though you can…
Winter squash isn’t actually a type of squash, but a category of hard-skinned squashes that includes many of the squashes we have seen (and will continue to see) in our boxes such as: acorn, butternut, delicata, buttercup and spaghetti. With the exception of spaghetti squash, which we highlighted in a different blog post, many of these squashes have similar texture and can be used interchangeably in recipes. Here is a visual guide to different squash varieties. Not on this list are some fun relatives of butternut squash that have already been showing up in your boxes like:
Winter squash stored in a cool dry place will last several weeks. Squash store at ideal temperatures will even last months. If possible, store at 50-55° in a dry spot with low humidity. If its too cold it will suffer chilling injuries and start to deteriorate. We don’t recommend storing in the basement because it is probably too moist and they will be more likely to rot. Cut squash wrapped in plastic wrap will keep in the fridge for a week to 10 days.
Roast It! Peel off the skin of the squash and dice into cubes.
Lightly coat with olive oil or canola oil and your favorite herbs and spices. Place on a foiled pan and roast at 400° for 25-35 minutes. Flip the squash over once halfway through.
Mash It! Cook squash according to the recipe on the bottom right, scoop out the flesh, and mash with a fork. Season with a little salt, pepper and spices.
Winter squashes are rich in vitamin A, folic acid and potassium. The dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat 4-6 cups of red or orange vegetables (like winter squash) each week.
Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It might be fall's most versatile vegetable. They are larger than most other winter squash, ranging in size from six to 12 inches long and in weight from about two to about five pounds.
This hardy squash can be kept for up to three months in a cool, dry place. But know that butternut squash will not last as long in a warm kitchen. For optimal storage keep them in the basement or another cooler place if possible. Do not refrigerate whole squash but once cut, butternut squash should be wrapped tightly and refrigerated. When it comes to cutting the smooth skin to halve, slice, or cut wedges of bright orange flesh, follow this technique.
There are so many delicious ways to use this hard-shell squash, from soups and salads to lasagna and pizza. Next time you’ve got the oven on, use up the space to cook a whole squash – simply bake it just as it is until you can insert a knife in easily, then use it over the following days in salads or to turn into pancakes, fritters or a delicious spread for toast.