Surround Yourself With Squash & Gourds- Tried It Out Tuesday (Dumpling & Buttercup Squash)

Have you ever gone on a squash adventure? No? Neither have I until this past weekend when I went to Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace in St. Clair Shores, MI looking for something interesting to try this week for Tried It Out Tuesday. We ended up taking home four different types of squash. In this post I will be discussing the dumpling squash and the buttercup squash that we tried.

I have written about this place before and I love going here on a fun little foodie adventure when I have a small wad of cash to blow. Some girls spend their dollars getting hair & nails done or buying trendy new clothes. Not me, not this girl right here! My family enjoys being adventurous eaters so when we have a little extra cash we like to treat ourselves to something delicious and tasty.

There is a whole world of squash out there in the universe just waiting to be discovered by you!

When you eat with an open mind you allow yourself the chance to experience new foods, new flavors. I went to Nino’s with no clear plan. I just wanted to go in there and walk out with something that I have never tried and experienced.

A little bit about Nino Salvaggio’s

Nino Salvaggio’s is a great local place that is chockful of interesting fruits and vegetables right at your fingertips. They currently have 3 locations with another added location in the works. I live closest to the smaller, St Clair Shores location, and believe it or not I have been going to this little store my whole entire life. On weekends I remember my mom taking us out to fruit markets to stock up on produce. We would go to Randazzo’s on Gratiot in Roseville and we would go to Nino’s in St Clair Shores. Honestly, I absolutely hated going to these stores when I was growing up. I thought it was boring and I would get a bit antsy and impatient and want to leave.

Look at me now! I am all grown up and going shopping for food is always the highlight of my days and I look forward to it. I just can’t seem to get enough of it.

Nino’s is bustling with people on the weekend and for good reason! They have the most beautiful displays of fresh produce that I have ever witnessed. They are super picky about what gets put out on the display for purchase, and they only put out the best of the best.

I will be writing frequently about my shopping experiences there. Other than Eastern Market, this is my go-to place for interesting eats. If you live in the area of Nino Salvaggio’s I highly recommend taking a little trip there to see what you can stock up on. There is always something new and interesting there to feed the senses.

My little haul of unusual squash

Squash that I bought at Nino Salvaggio's
Squash that I purchased at Nino Salvaggio’s: Dumpling Squash, Buttercup, Hubbard, and Sweet Potato Squash

I am a huge fan of summertime in Michigan. I pretty love and cherish most things about summer here, minus the god-awful humidity. I do enjoy a good barbeque feast on the weekends and I do love the food during the summer BUT my favorite foods are all autumn related. I love a good, filling bowl of soup on a cold day. I love a thick & hearty stew. I enjoy eating pumpkin flavored desserts. Just last year I recently discovered that I am also a huge fan of squash. The first squash I fell in love with last year was the butternut squash. I pureed it and made some paleo soup with it and topped it with a coconut milk drizzle. And then next up I ventured into trying out acorn squash. I remember serving it as a side dish with a maple syrup drizzle on it.

So this year I was up for the challenge of taking home some new-to-me squash. Nino Salvaggio’s had a grand display of squash, pumpkins, and gourds out in the front of the store. I grabbed a shopping cart and starting asking Google a bunch of questions on my phone about these squash I was about to purchase. I filled up my cart with four varieties: dumpling squash, buttercup squash, sweet potato squash, and an orange hubbard squash. I had a general idea on what I was going to do with them. Maple syrup always goes well with roasted squash so I got myself a bottle of pure Michigan maple syrup.

I did not even step foot into the store and I already had my mind made up on what I was going to take home… SQUASH and lots of it!

My daughter, Chloe, was scoping out the heirloom pumpkins and observing them in amazement. She fell in love with a tall white pumpkin that you can see in the photo below.

I also had to rummage through the basket of decorative gourds and bring home a few of them. We enjoyed looking at how unique each and every one of them was.

Dumpling Squash at Nino Salvaggio's International Marketplace
Dumpling Squash at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace
Buttercup Squash at Nino Salvaggio's International Marketplace
Buttercup Squash at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace

Sweet Potato Squash at Nino Salvaggio's International Marketplace
Sweet Potato Squash at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace
Hubbard Squash at Nino Salvaggio's International Marketplace
Hubbard Squash at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace
Gourds galore at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace

Dumpling Squash

The first squash that I decided to give a whirl was the beautiful dumpling squash. This one really dazzled my eyes. I really fell in love with the colors on this one. I scoured the web looking for some inspiration on what to do with this squash and then I found a Martha Stewart recipe for Vanilla & Cardamom Glazed Acorn Squash Rings. I was really intrigued by this recipe and the use of some pure vanilla extract paired with this sweet variety of squash. Martha Stewart used an acorn squash and I figured that a similar preparation would go with the dumpling squash.

Dumpling Squash
Dumpling Squash

How I prepared my dumpling squash

I sliced my squash into rings and kept the skin on. I almost always eat skins of my vegetables and fruits. I then made a vanilla infused ghee. I had three tablespoons of Organic Valley ghee, added some vanilla to it, then cardamom, and a bit of cinnamon (with a hint of nutmeg and chia). These dumpling squash rings took about 35 minutes to roast in a 400-degree oven. I was pretty excited to try this squash because I have never even considered using vanilla as an ingredient with my squash.

I am providing my dumpling squash recipe notes down below:

Recipe notes for Vanilla Dumpling Squash (Martha Stewart inspired)
Recipe notes for Vanilla Dumpling Squash (Martha Stewart inspired)

The house just smelled so divine while this dumpling squash was roasting so I was really anticipating some great fall flavor in this dish. I was very pleased and satisfied with the final result. The squash had the right amount of sweetness to it without being overly sweet. Since there were no added sugars it was just sweet on its own (love when nature does that!).

I would purchase this squash again and try it out with some raw honey drizzled over it or brush on some pure maple syrup. I see this as a versatile squash, a blank slate with so many possibilities. I think it would also make a great paleo soup, similar to butternut squash soup with some coconut milk and a bit of chicken broth. I say this because this squash did remind me of butternut squash the two are quite comparable.

It did also remind me quite a bit of sweet potatoes. The texture when roasted, were very much the same. The squash texture was soft and moist. I think that brushing on that vanilla infused ghee gave it some moistness and it did not come out dry at all. My palate really relished in the flavor of this dumpling squash.

Roasted Vanilla Dumpling Squash Ring
Roasted Vanilla Dumpling Squash Ring

Dumpling Squash nutrition

A little bit of nutritional information for you on the dumpling squash! I did a bit of research on the web and came up with this information and did also cite the sources if you would like to learn more.

  • A serving (1 cup) contains approximately 40 calories (source)
  • One serving is appx 8 net carbs (source)
  • One serving contains 4 grams of natural sugars (source)
  • A one cup serving contains 1.3 grams of fiber (source)
  • Dumpling squash is a wonderful source of Vitamin A and Vitamic C, also calcium and iron (source)
  • Each serving contains a high amount of beta carotene. (source)
  • Winter squashes are a great source of carotenoids, which help prevent cancer and heart disease. (source)

Buttercup Squash

Buttercup Squash from Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace
Buttercup Squash from Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace

This time around when I sliced into my squash I put it in a water bath inside the microwave and allowed it to soften. I did not soften my dumpling squash and it was a pain to cut through. I got some tips on Facebook and I am grateful for the tips! Slicing through this buttercup squash was a breeze after microwaving it.

Buttercup squash sliced open
Buttercup squash sliced open

I diced this squash into cubes and drizzled it with olive oil and used some cinnamon on it. I roasted it in the oven and 5 minutes before it was done I drizzled some pure maple syrup on them. This buttercup squash was the perfect compliment to my balsamic fig pork tenderloin that I served for Sunday dinner.

The buttercup squash was very similar to a sweet potato and that is exactly what my daughter exclaimed when she gave it a whirl. It was just a tad bit softer but as far as flavor goes there are very much the same.

Dumpling Squash as a side dish

Balsamic Fig Pork Tenderloin with Maple Buttercup Squash and Vanilla Dumpling Squash
Balsamic Fig Pork Tenderloin with Maple Buttercup Squash and Vanilla Dumpling Squash

Buttercup Squash nutritional information

  • The buttercup squash is very similar in the nutrition facts compared with the dumpling squash (see above information in the post)
  • Both squashes that I discussed here are high in Vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system. These are great to eat in the fall and winter when the immune system needs a boost to ward of sickness.

Final thoughts

I have not yet gotten around to trying out hubbard squash or the sweet potato squash but I am looking forward to incorporating them into my diet this week. I am so happy I got my husband to take me shopping over at Nino’s to get these squash and help me discover something new (hubby hates shopping). It is also enjoyable for my daughter to go on these grocery shopping adventures. She is on the same journey as me with trying out new foods and she often eats with an open mind. I am glad to have her as my sidekick!

My daughter and I have so much fun going to the store and discovering new tasty eats. I can not wait for our next adventure. If the weather cooperates this weekend I would love to go to the cider mill & apple orchard. I have never baked an apple pie before and I really want to make one from scratch this year and have her help out in the kitchen. Eastern Market could also be a possibility this weekend. We are undecided at the moment.

What is your favorite type of squash and how do you prefer to prepare it? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Check out my related post!

TGIF! How I Spent My Friday – Thank Goodness It’s FOOD! And A Visit To Nino Salvaggio’s


find out how I made a Cactus Pear Smoothie after a trip to Nino Salvaggio’s




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