Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Freeze Butternut Squash

             Hey folks! For this week's homesteading post, I thought we'd do something a little different. Come join me in the kitchen!
             It's that time of year for gardeners: harvest time! We are going to have an insane amount of squash, especially butternut, so I've already started stashing it away for the future. I get the impression that preparing/storing/whatever squash is intimidating for some people, so I thought I would share with you what I'm trying out for this first year.
  1. Cut your ends off.

  2. Peel the outside. (This is, by far, the worst part as far as difficulty goes.) Make sure you peel until you don't see any more green lines. Truth be told, I'm not sure if it matters, but I always do it this way. You shouldn't have many, if any, of these lines from store bought squash because I'm fairly certain I've just been picking mine too soon. Ha ha More on that in a minute.

  3. Cut it in half length-wise.

  4. Scoop out the guts with a spoon. (If you have chickens, they will love you forever if you give these to them. If not, rinse some seeds off and save them for next year!)

  5. Cut roughly 1” slices down each half. 

  6. I usually take two slices at a time, cut those in half again, and then chop them into cubes. (More on that in a minute as well.)

  7. Stick them in a container of choice, pop them in the freezer, and you're done! That wasn't so scary, right?
            Some side notes, helpful hints, anecdotes, etc...

*In my experience, store bought butternut squash is a helluva lot harder to cut than homegrown. I made some for Myka once when she was a baby and swore up and down I would never cut up another butternut squash for as long as I live...Yet, here I am. (Maybe I've just gotten stronger? Ha!)

*I don't remember store bought butternut being quite so green when peeling, so I'm pretty sure I'm just picking mine too soon out of excitement. Ha ha The weird thing is, though, the one I used in all but one of the photos above was HUGE and looked ready, but had a lot of those green lines I was talking about. However, it did have a big weeping gash/crack on the outside (which I cut off, of course), so maybe that had something to do with it.

*It may not seem like a big deal, but you can do several things to not let your squash guts go to waste. 1. Like I said, if you're not already aware, feed them to your chickens! They will love you for it, but be warned: They may become spoiled. 2. Save them for planting next year. We did this with some of our squash seeds in the Squash Patch 2.0 and they are growing just fine! It's the circle of life, y'all. 3. Put them in your compost bin. I'm guessing there's about a 50% chance that if you're reading this post and you have a garden, you likely have a compost bin/pile too. Waste not, want not. :)

*You may be wondering, “Why cubes?” Well, for us, it just makes the most sense. Since I am currently making baby food purees for Little Bit as well as big people food, I'm finding that cubes make it easy for both. I can thaw some out as needed and they're already in easily puree-able form or thaw them out, throw them in a square baking dish with butter, garlic, parmesan, onion powder, and salt, bake them, and they're a yummy side dish. I can't wait to try some butternut squash soup out with them too!

*P.s. Get yourself some ceramic knives. You can thank me later. :)

              What is your favorite squash and how do you like to “preserve” it for the winter?

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  1. Very informational! Thanks so much for sharing with us on the Homesteader hop!

  2. Have not tried this before, I normally just throw any leftover, should really freeze them instead for future use. Thanks for sharing this very informative post. #FabFridayPost

  3. Ooo! I love butternut squash. I think I will have to try this out! :) Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  4. Zucchini gets watery when frozen. Butternut squash doesn't?

    1. It does some, but not nearly as bad as zucchini!

  5. Thank you very helpful.

  6. I cook my squash first then freeze. The aging enzyme is still working when the squash is frozen raw. Cook it first, then freeze it like you have left overs.