It’s hard to hear “gourd” without thinking autumn. While the actual term refers to a select few specific plants of the Cucurbitaceae family that are typically used for decoration, gourd is sometimes also used to describe other crops in this family, like squash! Here at Free People, we’re so excited that autumn has finally arrived, and today I wanted to focus some attention on these beautiful oddly-shaped plants – specifically, their types, uses, and benefits.
Gourds and squashes come in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors. I gathered a couple of my favorites and identified them below!
Gourds grow in the most incredible shapes, which is one of the reasons they make for great decorations during the fall. I’ve always found that many of them look like little geese, which is so cute to me. This fall, supplement your pumpkin-decorating with gourd-decorating, and line them up on your windowsill for an adorable display.
I also love the idea of creating a dried garland using gourds, like this one from Terrain.
When it comes to cooking, there are lots of squashes that are available year-round, with many peaking in the fall and winter months. Squash is an excellent healthy ingredient to use in your fall meals, and the recipe options are endless. Some of our favorites are this squash soup with sage and orzo, mediterranean spaghetti squash salad, and butternut squash chai smoothie.
Different types of squashes have a multitude of benefits to your health, so try incorporating them into your diet as often as you can! While all types of squash are great for your health, winter squashes tend to contain more nutrients than summer varieties — especially B vitamins, which help reduce stress, treat anxiety and depression, and reduce your risk of heart disease. Butternut squash, along with other yellow squashes, also contains carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease, while also providing an overall boost to your immune system.
Gourd season is certainly here, so get out there and bring some into your life this fall! :)
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