Steaming, orange, mashed Butternut Squash! My family's fav fall vegetable! Now, it will be the fav veggie of spring, also, if I start to tackle that bushel of Butternut Squash that has been sitting patiently on our garage floor. :) The time has come... As our temperatures at night have decreased, I realize that it is not wise to let those light orange colored beauties sit on a cold concrete floor. So, it was time to get moving and prep those veggies for the freezer. Portions of mashed Butternut Squash were placed in Freezer Ziploc Bags and placed in our freezer to be enjoyed throughout the winter/spring.
It is one of my fall traditions. I usually prep 6 squash at once. First, the Butternuts are rinsed/cleaned in cold water. Then, carefully the skins are removed with the aid of my cutting board and a sharp knife. Cut off & toss the stem and rounded top. Then, the long top portion is cut into slices that are circles, and the skin cut off. After removing the seeds, I do not save them, but do save as much of the orange veggie as possible in the surrounding area. 2" chunks of orange squash are placed in two large pots on my stove top. (I use my 2 Dutch Ovens.)
After adding cold water (to reach up about 2" in the pots), the heat is turned up to High. After a Boil is reached, lower the heat and simmer about 13 - 15 minutes, until pieces can be pierced with a fork. During the cooking minutes, stir the Squash pieces in the pot, so they soften equally. After draining the squash using a colander, return the chunks to the large pots and mash.
I pack about 2 Cups of mashed Squash in Ziploc Freezer Bags. After labeling, store in freezer. Whenever desired for dinner a bag is unwrapped and the frozen chunk of squash is placed in a Corning Ware container with a lid. Reheat in the microwave. Easy does it!
Yes, squash can be purchased already mashed and boxed & frozen ready to heat. I've seen boxes containing a mixture of various winter squashes that need butter/margarine or brown sugar/maple syrup for flavor. I am really not into adding sweetness to veggies to help make them more tasty, but would rather save any desired sugar for dessert. We are very fortunate here in Western MA - Butternut Squash is readily available to purchase when the harvest is ready. I usually purchase them at Meadowbrook Farm.
In the next couple of days 6 more Butternuts will be prepped and find their spot on my freezer shelf. The bushel will contain even less. I always save enough for either dinner or a yummy dessert that contains Butternut Squash. That will be another post! :)
Do you enjoy Butternut Squash? At other times of the year in addition to Thanksgiving Dinner?