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3 Reasons To Think Beyond Pumpkin

By Amber Page

When fall rolls around, everyone's thoughts turn to pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin soup -- it's everywhere you look.

But pumpkin is far from the only member of the squash family worthy of your notice. In fact, there are dozens of varieties of squash, many of them pretty gourds that can complement your pumpkin-oriented fall decor.

Butternut Squash

Chances are you're already familiar with this hourglass-shaped gourd. They're in almost every grocery store -- and for good reason.

They're sweet, flavorful and packed full of antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. 

They're also super simple to cook. Just slice them down the middle, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and roast them in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. You can enjoy them plain, or use them in soups, pastas and other hearty dishes.

Acorn Squash

These cute little green squashes are another fall favorite. They lend themselves well to fall decor, and are tasty to boot. Plus, they have a ton of Vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

They're also quite sweet. In fact, you can almost trick yourself into thinking it's dessert!

To cook acorn squash, slice it in half, scoop out any nasty bits, and put it faced own on a cookie sheet in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Once that's done, turn the squash face up and fill each half with a tablespoon of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. 

Bake it for another 20 minutes, then enjoy!

You can also skip the sweet stuff and fill each half with the savory items of your choice, like sausage and apples.

Spaghetti Squash

If you're trying to cut down on refined carbs, spaghetti squash could be your new best friend.

When cooked, the flesh of this yellow gourd turns into strings perfect for enjoying as part of your favorite pasta recipe.

You can even cook it in the microwave! Just poke it with a fork a few times and set it to cook for 8-12 minutes. When the outside is soft and pliable, cut it open, scoop out the seeds and use a fork to separate the "spaghetti strings."

When autumn weather arrives and you're looking for something seasonal that is tasty and health, it's easy to find comfort in some of these outside-the-box options. Be sure you expand your dining palette to make them most that nature's garden has to offer.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic n McKinney, Tex.

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