Can You Freeze Butternut Squash?
Can you freeze butternut squash? Fresh butternut squash is typically enjoyed throughout the fall months but you can have it available all year long by freezing it. Read on to learn more.
Fresh butternut squash is typically enjoyed most throughout the fall months since harvesting usually occurs in late summer early autumn.
However, you can enjoy this delicate fruit, or as some call a vegetable, any time of the year by simply freezing large harvest to enjoy later in the year when you feel like something sweet and savory to eat that provides comfort and nourishment to the body.
Freezing butternut squash is simple. You can freeze the squash using a few different methods too. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze butternut squash:
Freezing Raw Butternut Squash
If you want to freeze freshly harvested butternut squash in its organic form, you do have to remove the stem, skin, and seeds from the inside of it first. Then, you can chunk up the squash flesh into bite-sized pieces.
After, lay the pieces out onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze them in the freezer for about an hour. Once the pieces are frozen, you can place them into sealable freezer bags or containers and store them in the freezer for up to a year.
When you are ready to cook some squash up, simply remove the container from the freezer and cook up the squash the way you desire to.
Image used under Creative Commons from Forest and Kim Starr
Freezing Mashed Butternut Squash
One of the most favored ways of eating butternut squash is mashed with some butter and brown sugar blended into it. Some people even add in maple syrup and a pinch of a salt for a sweet and savory side dish.
You can create whatever flavor of mashed squash you desire. To make mashed butternut squash you simply remove the stems, peels, and seeds from some squashes. Chunk up the squash flesh into bite-sized pieces.
Place the pieces into a large steamer pan or shallow pot of water and cook them until fork tender. After, you strain any water from the butternut squash chunks and place the chunks into a large mixing bowl with your favorite seasoning ingredients.
Then, you beat the ingredients together until you receive a smooth and creamy deep mashed butternut squash dish that is full of outstanding flavor. Next, you scoop the mashed butternut squash into freezer containers, place the date onto the container and freeze the squash this way for up to a year or until you are ready to use it.
When you are ready to use up a mashed butternut squash side dish, remove a container from the freezer and dump the frozen squash dish into a small saucepan and heat on low heat until it becomes warm and creamy to eat. You can also warm this dish up in the microwave, but the flavor and texture might change a bit.
Freezing Halved Butternut Squash
If you want to freeze butternut squash in halves, all you have to do is cut a squash in half, scoop the seeds from it and place each half into a freezer bag.
Then, freeze the squash this way for up to 2-years or until you are ready to use it. The best way to cook up frozen halves of butternut squash is by roasting them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour or until tender.
You can add seasonings and butter to the halves in order to achieve a flavor you desire too. Some people even stuff the halves with wild rice, nuts, and dried fruits to make a delicious vegetarian dish. You do whatever you feel best for your frozen halves of butternut squash.
Image used under Creative Commons from Richard North
It would not be best to take frozen butternut squash from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator or countertop because it will cause discoloration and possibly even a slimy mushy texture.
It is always best to take frozen butternut squash from the freezer and cook it right away so it still has the same fresh flavor it did on the day you harvested it.
Keeping squash frozen for longer than 2-years can cause frost and may even change the flavor of it so it is always best to use any frozen squash up before the 2-year mark passes.
Freezing butternut squash is easy and convenient, especially when you’re whipping up quick meals. Now that you know how can you freeze butternut squash, there is no need to worry about wastage when storing this nutritious vegetable for later use. You can take advantage of sales because you can maximize the vegetables to their fullest!