Winter squash isn’t actually a type of squash, but a category of hard-skinned squashes that includes many of the squashes we have seen (and will continue to see) in our boxes such as: acorn, butternut, delicata, buttercup and spaghetti. With the exception of spaghetti squash, which we highlighted in a different blog post, many of these squashes have similar texture and can be used interchangeably in recipes. Here is a visual guide to different squash varieties. Not on this list are some fun relatives of butternut squash that have already been showing up in your boxes like:
Winter squash stored in a cool dry place will last several weeks. Squash store at ideal temperatures will even last months. If possible, store at 50-55° in a dry spot with low humidity. If its too cold it will suffer chilling injuries and start to deteriorate. We don’t recommend storing in the basement because it is probably too moist and they will be more likely to rot. Cut squash wrapped in plastic wrap will keep in the fridge for a week to 10 days.
Roast It! Peel off the skin of the squash and dice into cubes.
Lightly coat with olive oil or canola oil and your favorite herbs and spices. Place on a foiled pan and roast at 400° for 25-35 minutes. Flip the squash over once halfway through.
Mash It! Cook squash according to the recipe on the bottom right, scoop out the flesh, and mash with a fork. Season with a little salt, pepper and spices.
Winter squashes are rich in vitamin A, folic acid and potassium. The dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat 4-6 cups of red or orange vegetables (like winter squash) each week.
Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It might be fall's most versatile vegetable. They are larger than most other winter squash, ranging in size from six to 12 inches long and in weight from about two to about five pounds.
This hardy squash can be kept for up to three months in a cool, dry place. But know that butternut squash will not last as long in a warm kitchen. For optimal storage keep them in the basement or another cooler place if possible. Do not refrigerate whole squash but once cut, butternut squash should be wrapped tightly and refrigerated. When it comes to cutting the smooth skin to halve, slice, or cut wedges of bright orange flesh, follow this technique.
There are so many delicious ways to use this hard-shell squash, from soups and salads to lasagna and pizza. Next time you’ve got the oven on, use up the space to cook a whole squash – simply bake it just as it is until you can insert a knife in easily, then use it over the following days in salads or to turn into pancakes, fritters or a delicious spread for toast.