What To Do With Winter Squash?
Winter squash is a type of vegetable that has a thicker skin, and a much longer shelf life than regular squash. They are called winter squash because you harvest them in fall to keep through the winter. At our farm we grew over 10 varieties of winter squash this season. The most popular that we grow are the spaghetti, butternut, and acorn. I’ll include a few recipes in this article that customers have shared with us.
Spaghetti Squash is my personal favorite of all the winter squash. Like some of you…I had never heard of it either. However, it’s quickly become one of my favorite go-to winter meals. This squash is a good alternative to regular pasta, and is also good for those watching their calorie intake. The texture is definitely different from store bought pasta, but in a good way. The taste is a bit mild compared to other winter squash with a little hint of sweetness. These are best when roasted in the oven, but you could also use the instapot, or microwave. For storage, keep them in a cool dry place. They will last about three months, if stored appropriately.
Next up is the Butternut Squash. It tastes like a cross between a pumpkin and a sweet potato. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. These are great because you can cook them in so many ways, including roasting, soup, or even in the microwave. Most people use these in soups because they cook down really well. They make a great recipe when combined with apples as well. These are best when stored in a cool dark place. They will last about one to two months.
Another customer favorite is the Acorn Squash. These come in many different shapes and sizes, but you can cook them all the same. Most people prefer to roast these and then stuff them. They have a sweet, nutty flavor, and like most other winter squash, you can store them for 1-2 months in a cool, dark place. A few recipe suggestions are to halve them, and then fill with nuts, dried cranberries, sausage, maple syrup, and other tasty fillers. See a yummy recipe below!
Baby Blue Hubbard is a winter squash that can be intimidating because of its larger size. However, these prove great for storing as they last about 6 months. It can be steamed or baked and topped with butter and brown sugar or maple syrup. We prefer the Baby Blue Hubbard to the Original Hubbard because it’s a bit smaller and easier for families to utilize.
Wash your squash off. Cut it length wise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle the inside with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip it over onto a lined baking sheet. Poke a few holes in the skin of the squash with a fork. Place in a 400-degree oven for 30-40 minutes. If it’s a larger squash, you may need to do an extra 10-20 minutes. Once it’s roasted and cool enough to touch, use a fork to scrape the strands. I put spaghetti sauce over top, but you could also just add some butter and eat it plain.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Start by washing your squash, peeling the skin off, taking out the seeds, and cutting it into chunks. Sauté an onion, and add the cut up squash to it and cook until it begins to soften. Season with sage, rosemary, ginger, salt, pepper, and garlic. Using fresh herbs if possible, will take this recipe to the next level. Once cooked all the way, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and garnish with chopped parsley, and enjoy!
ACORN SQUASH ROASTED
Start by washing your squash, and popping in the microwave for a minute. This will help loosen the skin and make it easier to cut. Cut it in half, and scrape out seeds. Take a paring knife and score the inside to be a crisscross pattern. Place the squash cut side up in a roasting pan. Pour about an inch of water into the bottom of the pan so the squash doesn’t dry out, or burn. Rub butter into the inside, and then sprinkle with brown sugar, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Bake at 400 for roughly an hour. Let cool a bit, and enjoy!