Read All About It! Winter Squash
‘Tis the season for SQUASH!
Over the next few weeks you are going to be seeing more and more squash in our stores. But if you aren’t sure what is what or what to do with it, read on to find out!
We Love Local!
Check out some shots of our local squash en-route to you!
The Cucurbit Family
“Cucurbitaceae” in full! This large family of foods has so many members and it is the most widely eaten in the world. Famous cucurbits you might know and enjoy are cucumbers, pumpkins, winter & summer squash as well as watermelons. To fall into the cucurbit family the vine must produce a male and female flower that then sprouts the fruit.
The original Halloween pumpkin! These pumpkins have been growing in the same fashion since the settlers met the Native Americans! While you can cook and bake with what’s inside (especially with the leftovers from carving!) you would be better off using one of our sugar pie pumpkins. Since field pumpkins are grown for size they lose most of their natural sweetness. Stick to using the flesh for jack o’ lanterns or decoration, but don’t waste the seeds!
Best Uses: Decorating
Try This: Candied Pumpkin Seeds
This oval-shaped bright yellow squash can be cooked by baking, boiling or steaming. Once finished, its flesh reduces to stringy, translucent, spaghetti-like strands. This consistency and it’s very mild flavor makes it a perfect replacement for spaghetti in the kitchen (hence the name)! To do this, just scoop out the insides of your cooked spaghetti squash and pair with your favorite sauce or pesto. To roast, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, rub lightly with olive oil and bake face-down for 40 minutes/until easily pierced with a fork. Once finished you can enjoy with the sauce and toppings of your choice or store in the fridge for a few days for an easy dinner later on in the week!
Best Uses: Roasted & Enjoyed As You Would Spaghetti
MMM-MMM-MMM. That’s what we need to lead with when it comes to this succulent squash variety! The name isn’t a coincidence – this squash is soft like butter, but much sweeter. Fans of sweet potato will surely love this squash. While the cutting process takes some getting used to, the flesh of this squash has so many delicious uses, all perfect for the rich flavors of fall. Apart from cutting to cubes and roasting, this squash can also be grated and baked into fritters, pureed into creamy and decadent soups and sauces – you can even find butternut squash used in breads, raviolis, fries, pancakes and pie!
Best Uses: Roasting, Purees, Baking
Try This: Butternut Squash Tots
How To Cut Safely:
Available in green, white or orange this squash gets its name from its shape. About 6 inches in length with areas of orange, yellow, white and gold, the flesh inside is a deep yellow. With a sweet and somewhat nutty flavor, acorns are usually roasted whole with the skin on then stuffed with any assortment of sausage, bread, vegetables, rice and seasonings then added and baked a while more.
Best Uses: Stuffing With Whatever Savory Ingredients You Can Think Of
This cream-colored, green-striped oblong squash can be prepared and enjoyed in many ways similar to butternut squash. Delicatas have a soft brown sugar flavor like a cross between fresh corn and pumpkin pie. This makes it excellent for slicing up and roasting, cubing for casseroles, stuffing and double roasting as well as making into soup, biscuits or grating up to fry into fritters.
Best Uses: Roasting
Try This: Delicata Squash and Sage Biscuits
Sugar Pie Pumpkin
Exceptional flavor and smooth texture. When it comes to pumpkins, bigger isn’t always better! The name of these little pumpkins is super accurate – sweet like sugar, perfect for pies! Inside you will find bright orange and firm flesh that cooks down to a beautifully smooth consistency that is perfect for baking. Try the sugar pie pumpkin in pies, cheesecakes, pancakes and flan! You could also hollow out the seeds and bake in a similar manner as the acorn squash.
Best Uses: Baking
Try This: DIY Pumpkin Puree
Sweet Dumpling Squash
This small plump squash has a honey sweet flavor with starchy pale yellow flesh. Look for its cream color and dark green striping. Pick ones that are heavy for their size and get cookin’!
Best Uses: Roasting & Stuffing
Try This: Sweet Dumpling Squash Creme Brulée
Dark green with narrow grey stripes, this squash has a thin outer skin with a rich, sweet-flavored and nutty tasting orange flesh. It’s fine grained creamy texture and dense consistency helps it hold up beautifully in casseroles and pies. Try it stuffed and baked, pureed in soups or roasted as a side dish.
Best Uses: Stuffing & Roasting
Try This: Cozy Buttercup Squash Oats
Resembling a green pumpkin, the kabocha squash has a sweet flavor when cooked with a consistency similar to a tender potato. This makes it a great substitution for pumpkin or sweet potato. Try this squash baked, steamed, stuffed or pureed. Allow a good amount of time for cooking! Ps: The skin is edible and nutritious, so no peeling required!
Best Uses: Roasting & Purees.
Try This: Thyme and Garlic Roasted Kabocha Squash
These squashes come in a few different varieties, all with thick bumpy skin ranging in color from a gray-blue to green and bright orange. The blue hubbard is small while the others are large. Inside you will find a yellow, grainy flesh that is best enhanced with butter, herbs or spices due to a mild flavor.
Best Uses: Pureed, Roasted, Baked.
These wild looking, rough skinned squashes come in a plethora of colors, shapes and sizes! While they look beautiful, they are not for eating, just decoration!
Best Uses: Decoration
How Long & Where To Keep Your Squash
The name of these squash varieties comes from the amount of time they can be stored. Winter squashes take time to mature. They are commonly planted during the late springtime and take all summer to mature for a Fall harvest. To store up winter squash for garden-fresh flavors in the heart of winter all you need to do is cure it!
How To Cure
First squash harvest. Letting them cure in the sun while I search recipes and source ingredients. I’m open to suggestions #firstharvest #curingsquash #butternutsquash #squashharvest #thepayoff #organicfarming #eatorganic #sunearthrain #homegrown #squashrecipes #growyourownfood #smallfarms #kamersoil
This only needs to be done if you are planning to keep your squash for an extended period of time. Store your squash at a warm temperature for 10-14 days. One good method would be to set up your squash on a wire rack or window screen (for better air circulation) in an area with a stable temperature. Make sure the skin is not broken, bruised or moist, that it has a 2-3 inch long stem and that it has been harvested before the frost. The types of squash that should be cured are butternut, spaghetti and blue hubbard. Acorn squash should not be cured, it will reduce the storage life and quality.
Storage Life By Type
Store squash in a cool, dry spot ~50º-55º F. Only exception is acorn – store this at less than 55º F. Avoid storing in humid areas.
- Acorn – 4 Weeks
- Delicata – 6 Weeks
- Kabocha – 1-2 Months
- Pumpkin / Buttercup / – 2-3 Months
- Spaghetti / Sweet Dumpling – 4-5 Weeks
- Butternut – Up To 6 Months
- Blue Hubbard – 6-7 Months
Tag pictures of you and your squash with #BestMarket, we’d love to see!
September 23, 2019