My daughter loves eating squash, most especially butternut squash. This is the reason why we grow our own crops of butternut squash so as to save more and enjoy the perks of having it really organic, thus healthier for the family. But our problem arises when we have way too much harvest more than we could actually consume in a span of time. I was thinking of freezing them to store them longer that they may never go to waste but I’m not so sure if freezing would do well with butternut squash. Please enlighten me on this matter. Thanks!
What a wonderful topic to discuss with someone who shares the same queries as I had before. Let me share with you what I discovered regarding freezing butternut squash when I came across with the same question for myself before.
Butternut freezes well just like the other variants of it. You can have two or three options to choose from: whether to freeze it uncooked, cooked and sliced, or cooked and pureed. Either which way you choose, all these three methods work just right for every butternut squash you would want frozen for storage.
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash?
Freezing butternut squash as a means of food preservation is as easy as 1-2-3. It could be done either the vegetable is cooked or uncooked.
There are two usually followed ways in prepping the butternut squash before freezing it. You can choose either way or you may also experiment with the two known methods and find out which suits you best.
Blanching or cooking vegetables before freezing normally stops the enzymes’ usual function to grow and ripen the produce until it deteriorates. But either cooked or uncooked, the outcome is almost the same.
You must do initial freezing or flash freezing by laying the cubed or diced squash in a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Lay them all in a single layer slightly apart to prevent them from sticking together.
After the initial freezing, you may now portion the vegetables according to your plans for cooking with them and put them inside freezer bags or containers. Vacuum as much air as possible and label them with dates before putting them inside the freezer.
Stack them inside the freezer with spaces between so the air can circulate to prevent the bags from sticking together. All these processing in freezing butternut squash have so little effects on texture, quality, nutrition and taste. Thaw it still in the freezer bags before cooking so to avoid it going all mushy.
How to Freeze Butternut Squash?
Preparing the butternut squash for freezing are enumerated in the following steps.
- Wash the squash before slicing and deseeding it. You may peel it directly if you want to freeze it uncooked.
- To slice or not to slice them depends on your likings and preferences. Slice the squash according to what recipe you are planning to do with it.
- As for the cooked method of preparation, just cut the squash lengthwise into halves then cook it as you wish. You will know when it is ready by poking it with a fork to know if it is already soft enough.
- Make sure it is cooled totally before freezing to avoid condensation which contributes to faster spoilage.
- Peel the cooked squash with your fingers or a knife when it is cooled. You have two options whether to just slice and dice it for future sautéing or roasting, or you may want to puree it for future creamy squash soup recipes.
- Make sure to initially freeze the sliced squash, cooked or uncooked, by spreading them in a single layer on a baking sheet with spaces apart to avoid them sticking together. Then you may put them inside freezer containers or bags afterwards.
- Pack the squash in freezer bags or containers and vacuum as much air as possible, but leave some space to make room for expansion as things tend to expand when frozen, before putting them inside the freezer.
- Label them with dates and stack the containers inside the freezer the way you want and they should be ready for consumption up to the next 6 to 12 months.
Butternut Squash Recipes
Squash Recipes – How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash
This delicious side dish of simply roasted butternut squash is spiced and seasoned with garlic, olive oil, ground pepper and salt. It is oven roasted until done or light brown, served by topping with chopped parsley, shaved parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts.
Caramelized Butternut Squash – Thanksgiving Side Dish
It is another side dish of butternut squash so deliciously sweet due to its caramelized sauce of brown sugar and melted butter. It is seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper and oven-cooked until tender and fully caramelized.
Butternut Squash Soup – with just 5 ingredients – Recipes from FitBrits.com
This is a deliciously thick butternut squash soup made of pureed butternut squash. It was sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onions and simmered in chicken stock until done before it is well-blended into a creamy puree.