Care & Storage:
Store your squash at room temperature. Unless they have surface damage, they’ll keep for a month or two (or even longer, in some cases).
Easy Prep Ideas:
Except for spaghetti squash, most winter squashes can be used interchangeably in recipes, regardless of their variety, color, size, or shape. Certain types (like buttercup) are wildly sweeter than others, but all ripe winter squashes, when cooked, should be on the sweet side. You can boil or steam chunks of squash, which can then be eaten plain (or with butter or Asian pear butter), or used mashed, pureed, or added to other dishes. You can also make a lovely ‘pumpkin’ puree with butternut squash, a bit of milk, some maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice to use on top of pancakes for a fall-tasting treat!
Tips & Tricks:
Many people bake winter squash, which can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
The microwave can be a much faster way to cook squash. Poke lots of fork-holes into the squash (making sure to pierce the other skin completely). Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes at a time; then flip the squash and cook again. When the squash is ‘squishy,’ remove it to cool for a bit. Cut it carefully (it’ll still be hot inside) and scoop out the seeds. Small squash (like Delicata) may cook in only a total of 4 minutes or so. Larger squash (Buttercup) may take 8 or 12 minutes total or more. Here's a tutorial!
Scooped-out spagetti squash strands can take the place of pasta until a bunch of your favorite sauce, or they make a great base for a casserole with other veggies, eggs, and spices.
Most ‘pumpkin’ in canned pumpkin or commercial pumpkin pies is actually made with winter squash, which tends to be sweeter. Next time you’re making pumpkin pie, bread, etc., use cooked butternut squash instead for some fantastic flavor!
For more info and great ideas, check out our Weirdo of the Week post on winter squash!