Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Freezing Butternut and Acorn Squash

Here are my butternut squash. I cut off the stem end, halved them, scooped out the seeds, and turned them upside down on a cookie sheet that was covered in aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. I poured a half a cup of water around them and put them in an oven at 350 degrees. It took about 1 hour and 20 minutes when my fork could go throught the skin and flesh easily. This is what they looked like pulled out from the oven.

This is the finished product. I found that using an ice cream scoop was pretty effective in getting the flesh from the skin. I mashed the flesh and whipped it with a beater until it was smooth. I measured it into 2 cup servings, put it in a Ziploc freezer bag, squeezed out the air, and stuck it in the freezer. Finished!

Did you wonder if I tried any of this? The answer is yes. It was nothing like I thought it would be. Of course, there was no other flavors or sugar on it, so I could get a true assessment. It tasted like a sweet potato -minus the sweet with a touch of stewed pumpkin -minus the sweeteners. I can see why this squash has been used in so many recipes to fill in for pumpkin. The taste is so very similar. It will be interesting to experiment with in the kitchen!

Here are the acorn squash. To keep them nice and mashable, I cut them in half, scooped out the seeds, put the flesh side down (flipped them over for the pic to cool), poured a half a cup of water around them, and baked them at 375 degrees for about an hour on a cookie sheet that was lined in foil and sprayed with cooking spray. I must say, these were very small in size, so I think that is the reason for the quick baking time.

Just wanted to add~Some of these little gems had a very tough skin, so thanks to a tip from the Internet, I scored a line from stem to tip on both sides, where my cut would be, and microwaved for 1 1/2 minutes. It heated them up enough to make for an easier cut. A word of caution, they are hot when they come out of the microwave, so be careful!

Here is the cooked product. With the rind being so tough, it was a whole lot quicker to use the ice cream scoop. It went faster than the butternut. Then, I proceeded to mash and blend until smooth. (I read a tip that a blender will pull any stringy pieces out if you didn't get the squash scooped out correctly before baking.) One could also use a hand puree blender, but my squash seemed to do well with the regular hand mixer. I packed them the same as the butternut for freezing.

I tried the acorn, also. Quite a difference from the butternut. I can see why my friends like this particular squash. It is a lot sweeter than the butternut, and the taste is strongly similar to the sweet potato which shocked me, since I am a huge fan of them. Just an interesting side note~ I read in more than one article that the more orange color on the acorn squash the sweeter the taste. Hmmm. I will have to test that info next year. I am sure all of these veggies (and squash are considered fruits as well due to their seeds) will be in my garden.

Here are a few bags of my frozen squash getting transferred to the deep freeze. The camera does not do the beautiful colors justice. Like I said in an earlier post, I want to go 'greener' in my life and more natural. It's time to open the door to some new flavors!

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