Thursday, October 10, 2013

RECIPE: Squash Tips

Winter squash comes in many varieties, including Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, Pumpkin, Ambercup, Carnival, Delicata, Kabocha, Hubbard and Turban, and has a lot of Vitamin A for healthy skin and eyes.
Squash does not require refrigeration and can be kept in a cool, dark well-ventilated place for 1-2 months. After squash is cooked, it can be frozen for up to one year.
Winter squash can be peeled, de-seeded, and cut into chunks or slices to steam, sauté or bake.  It is easier, however, to bake winter squashes with their skin on.  Either cut in pieces and remove seeds, or cut whole squash in half and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, depending on size. 
Once cooked, the flesh of winter squashes can be scooped from the skin and used to make purees, soups and pie fillings. 
Here is one idea:
1 winter squash
Salt and pepper
Butter (optional)
Brown sugar or maple syrup (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)

1. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.

2. Cook the squash using any of the following methods:

Oven or toaster oven – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the cut side of the squash with salt. Place cut side down in a baking dish and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.

Microwave – Place squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish. Cover and cook on high power until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. (Start with 8 minutes and then cook more if needed).

Slow cooker – Squash can be put into a crockpot whole or cut in half. Add 1 tablespoon of water, cover and cook on low until squash is easily pierced with a fork. Cooking time will vary with different squashes, but it will usually take 3-6 hours.

Stove (steaming) – Cut squash into small, one inch cubes. Fill a pot with two inches of water and bring to a boil. Add squash to a steamer, cover and cook for 7-10 minutes until squash is soft.

3. Let cool a bit and then scoop out the squash. If desired, add salt and pepper, butter and brown sugar, maple syrup or cinnamon.

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