October Seasonal Flavors: SquashtoberFest

While some enjoy celebrating OktoberFest at this time of year, we prefer a healthy twist on this fall-time tradition–SquashtoberFest. Our friends at MVP Health Care visited St. John’s today for a return of our most popular topic in our beloved Seasonal Flavors Series! With a full crowd in the audience and St. John’s Chef Mike Schnupp  at the cooking demonstration table, everything “squash” was discussed and two yummy recipes using gourds were shared at the October 12 Seasonal Flavors program.

As a special bonus, two informational guides to squash by the season were provided to guests in attendance. Download your very own PDF copies here: Summer Squash Guide and Winter Squash Guide

Sponsored by St. John’s in partnership with MVP Health Care, this program was the fifth in a series of cooking demonstration programming that is being brought to guests in 2022. Cheryl Minchella, MVP Health Care Community Health Educator, partners with the team at St. John’s Meadows to provide education regarding health food choices for seniors.

Watch St. John’s events listing for future programming where you can get recipes like Squash Cake and Winter Squash Gratin and so you too can cook healthy at home.

October Seasonal Flavors Recipes

Squash Cake

Yields: 8 servings


1¾ cups (14 ounces) butternut squash

4 eggs

1¾ cups sugar

1½ cups oil

3 cups flour

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ cup raisins

½ cup walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. At low speed, beat the squash, eggs, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Gradually mix together wet and dry ingredients. Add raisins and walnuts. Spoon batter in tube or Bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour.

Recipe Source: www.geniuskitchen.com

Winter Squash Gratin

Yields: 4-6 servings


2 pounds winter squash (butternut, kabocha or any winter squash)

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more as needed

¼ cup bread crumbs

¾ cup low-fat milk

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

2 Tablespoons finely grated orange zest (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup grated Gruyère cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 425° F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy membranes, brush the cut sides with olive oil and lay cut side down on the foil-covered baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes, or until soft enough to pierce easily with a knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Change oven setting to 400° F.

Use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the tough skin; discard the skin. Transfer the flesh to a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer the squash to a mixing bowl; add the 4 Tablespoons of melted butter, milk, 2 of the eggs, nutmeg and orange zest. Season lightly with pepper.

Separate the remaining 2 eggs into whites and yolks, adding the yolks to the squash mixture, and place the whites in a separate large bowl. Combine the egg yolks with the squash mixture, stirring until well incorporated.

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat with a whisk or handheld mixer until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the squash mixture, leaving some streaks of white.

Gently pour the squash mixture into a prepared baking dish (6-cup, shallow baking dish). Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until the top is golden and the center looks set. Serve warm.

Note: The squash can be cooked, cooled and refrigerated up to 4 days in advance. The casserole can be assembled, covered and refrigerated a day before it is baked.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Instantly French! Classic Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker by Ann Mah


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