Monday, October 10, 2011

Winter Squash Love

Winter squash is such nice change from summer squash, don't you think?  There's just less pressure with winter squash.  You can let it sit and sit and sit (in a cool, dry place) and deal with it when you please.  There's no pressure to cube it, shred it or eat it before it gets soft and squishy, then dried and shrivel-y.

There are some recipes that call for cubed squash and for those, of course, require cubing right before hand, but some of my favorite recipes call for pureed winter squash.  This, not so easy to whip up at the last minute- especially when you're days are full of work or homeschooling or being a parent and/or pregnant (not me), etc.  You get the picture.

I like to bake up and puree as much as my oven will hold at once and then freeze the pureed squash.  Setting a quart out to thaw the night before makes whipping up one of these recipes quick and easy. 

Pumpkin Pasta
Pumpkin Streusel Bread 
Pumpkin Pie

Baking and Freezing Pureed Winter Squash

To bake the squash (I prefer butternut or goose-neck), trim off the stem end and cut the squash length-wise.  Scoop out and discard seeds and lay the squash halves cut-side down in baking pans (with sides) in an inch of water.  Bake at 350 degrees for up to an hour or until a knife inserted into the squash glides in without resistance.  Let cool slightly and remove the skin (either by scooping the squash out or peeling off the skin with a paring knife).  Mash with a potato masher and then puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender.  Cool completely and freeze in airtight containers, labeled with the amount in cups.

And, wallah!  You end up with my version of fast, pre-packaged {real} convenience food.   Who says I'm weird now?  Huh? ;-)
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  1. I was nosing around your pages-I think I will try baby stages of food for baby Raymond-he is 9 months but only has 2 toofers

  2. You've inspired me to pick up 'extra' at the Farmer's Market this week :)

  3. I need to remember to do this when we have pumpkins (usually not until autumn ~ it's spring here). I used to make my babies food like this!
    Have a wonderful day

  4. Do you use any other kinds of squash like this? I grew three buttercup (not butternut) squash this year and now I'm not sure what to do with them!

  5. teek,
    We only grow butternut because I think they're the easiest to use (both getting into them and versatility- wise). I know nothing about buttercup squash- sorry :-).

  6. I'm glad you posted this.
    a great photo tutorial.

    I've never done much with squash. we usually plant things for the fall, but have never had much luck.

    would this butternut do well to substitute for anything that calls for pumpkin?
    I would love to put something up for the winter to use in pies. Canned pumpkin is outrageous.


  7. Amanda,
    Yes, butternut squash can be used when canned pumpkin is called for. In fact, it is often what the canned pumpkin is:-).

  8. for *convenience* food in the freezer! Home prepared with love, of course! I *love* butternut squash...yum!!


    P.S. I trust you are feeling all better now?? Have a great weekend!

  9. to Teekaroo, buttercup works as well; it is perhaps a bit drier, but taste is similar. Any of the orange flesh winter squashes can be substituted for each other; squash actually makes better pumpkin pie than pumpkin, in my opinion!


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