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Health Tip: A Nutritional Bright Spot During Cold Weather

Winter squash is a healthy alternative

(HealthDayNews) -- One of the bright spots in a long, cold, harsh winter is the availability of winter squash.

Winter squash comes in many varieties and sizes, including butternut, hubbard and acorn. They're harvested at a mature age, which makes the skin hard and inedible. But this protective layer boosts the food's storage life to three months or longer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The yellow and orange flesh of the winter squash is rich in complex carbohydrates and beta carotene. Choose one that has a smooth, dry rind and is free of cracks or soft spots. Look for rinds that have a dull appearance and squash that are heavy for their size.

Bake squash halves with a savory vegetable and breadcrumb filling or use pureed squash as a side dish. Pureed squash can also be added to soup, sauce or stews for thickening, color, and flavor.

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