Sweet and nutty flavour
At the orange end of the spectrum are vegetables such as squashes, packed with compounds known as carotenes. Diets rich in carotenes are thought to have a protective effect against certain cancers. Just as well then that this famously tasty variety is at the top of the list for carotenes, with a whopping 1200% more of the good stuff in its wonderfully sweet, nutty flavoured.
Why might it be best NOT to eat these fresh?
Squashes noticeably increase their sugar content after just a month of storage at 10°C. These sugars fuel the creation of carotenes and some of these will break down to create the aroma compounds that give winter squashes their characteristic buttery, caramel aroma. So with squashes, sit back and wait a while before enjoying a sweeter, more flavoursome and more nutritious meal.
For the highest levels of carotenes (and sugars and aroma chemicals) choose winter squashes like the large Crown Prince or, Hokkaido type Uchiki Kuri, the true King (or should we say Emperor?) of nutrition. Not only do these taste great but a 100g serving will deliver more than twice your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 50% more fibre than butternut squash.
What are carotenes?
Plants can’t hide from the harmful ‘sunburn’ effect of uv radiation but they have evolved a range of protective natural compounds including the beta-carotenes that turn pumpkins and squashes yellow or orange. These are now widely believed to also confer protection against a range of cancers in humans.
Plug or Potted Plant:Plug
Aftercare - Easy:True
Beds & Borders:True
Prefers Full Sun:True
Ideal for beds and borders, patio pots and containers. Prefers full sun.
Easy-to-grow plants that are very versatile in the kitchen, providing an invaluable autumn harvest that will store well into winter - which may well be the best plan for them!