They come in a dizzying array of colors, from cool greens to warm yellows and oranges. There are rounded ones. Fluted ones. Smooth ones. Bumpy ones.
They're plentiful, versatile and economical, too.
Winter squash. Their hard skin and large seeds distinguish them from their soft-skinned cousins, the summer squash.
Unlike summer squash (such as zucchini), which are picked when the seeds and skin are still edible, winter squash are harvested when fully mature. In the maturation process, the seeds become woody and large. The skin toughens.
New varieties of winter squash from Europe and Asia accompany innovations from Latin America increase choices at local supermarkets.
Squash is high in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body and are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus and potassium.