With the first signs of fall in the air, the shorter days and cooler evenings bring with it an array of winter nullsquash, which are loaded with flavor and nutrients to get you through the season. From the more common butternut to the delicious Buttercup, there are quite a few varieties to try. But there is one in particular that I go back to time and time again: the Sunshine kabocha squash. Also called a Japanese pumpkin, it has a rich flavor and smooth texture when slowly roasted in the oven, making it an extremely versatile squash. Whether used to make soups, pies or simply roasted and seasoned with a little salt and pepper to be enjoyed as a side, you can't go wrong with this one. As this dense, small, round squash begins to roast in the oven, its bright orange skin begins to soften. The skin is so thin, in fact, that it can be eaten; the texture resembles the flesh.

This hearty fall and winter staple is loaded with essential nutrients to keep you healthy through the cooler times of the year. Due to its deep orange flesh, kabocha squash is loaded with the essential antioxidant beta-carotene, enough to supply almost 150 percent of the daily value in just 1 cup of cooked squash. Kabocha squash is also a very good source of dietary fiber and supplies vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and a good amount of potassium.

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