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You can freeze butternut squash to preserve its freshness. There are three popular methods to do this; flash freezing, puree, and the cook & blanch method. Each method is easy to do and will ensure that your butternut squash will last until you can grow some more.
Freezing butternut squash is the best way to preserve the flavor and important nutrients that this most loved winter squash contains. Follow these three different ways to freeze butternut squash. If you have wheel barrows full from your summer garden or you’ve just found a great deal at the grocery store you couldn’t pass up, this post is just what you need.
Growing butternut squash, like yellow squash and zucchini, is by far one of the easiest crops to grow in my garden. I often grow a lot of squash great for fresh eating and freeze the rest for fall and winter. Some winter squash varieties are great for storing in your cold storage as well.
Butternut squash will keep for a month or more when stored in a dark cool place.
If the squash is peeled, it should be covered and stored in the fridge for up to five days. The best way to preserve your squash for longer storage is by pickling it or freezing. In this post you’ll learn the three common ways to freeze butternut squash to preserve your fresh summer harvest.
Butternut squash is a great option for fresh eating or preserving for the fall and winter months by freezing. From roasting the squash and adding to a salad, as a side dish to a roast meal or better yet my favorite butternut squash soup with a dollop of sour cream the options for making meals with butternut squash are endless.
HOW TO FREEZE BUTTERNUT SQUASH THREE DIFFERENT WAYS
There are three popular ways to freeze butternut squash for eating within 6 months to a year. The quickest and easiest method is flash freezing, the second is by blanching and finally making butternut squash puree.
All three methods actually work for most winter squashes including freezing spaghetti squash and acorn squash.
Depending on what your meal and baking plans are for the fall and winter months will depend on the methods you consider. Flash freezing and blanching are great options for roasted squash, chilli, stews and casseroles where as squash puree is lovely for pureed soups.
HOW TO FLASH FREEZE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Flash freezing is a perfect method for freezing fresh fruits and vegetables in individual bite size pieces to make measuring and cooking much easier later on.
The flash freezing method is popular for freezing berries for baking or chopped vegetables for soups and stews. To flash freeze butternut squash you’ll need a few tools:
- potato peeler or knife
- cookie sheet or baking pan
- parchment paper
- freezer bags
The steps to flash freeze are also pretty simple:
- Peel the squash using a potato peeler
- Cut the squash into 2 inch size cubes
- Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Place cookie sheet flat in the freezer for a day or two or until pieces are fully frozen.
- Fill freezer bags with frozen pieces of squash
The best way to enjoy your frozen butternut squash chunks is by roasting them with roasted vegetables come the winter. It’s a quick and easy side dish for any roast meal and with a little butter and herbs they taste delicious.
When using this method, be sure to cook and eat within 4 months due to the fact that it is not pre-cooked it will continue to age in the freezer and will go bad eventually. Freezing just slows the process down.
If you want to store it longer, follow the baking instructions in the puree section or skip to the blanching method below.
Need to get all your food preserved easily? Check out the Ultimate Guide To Freezing Food so that you can fill your freezer without in minimal time.
HOW TO FREEZE BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREE
This is a popular method of freezing squash for pies, soups, and baby food.
The first thing to do when making butternut squash puree is to wash the outside of the squash well. Then, simply slice the squash in half length wise and scoop out any seeds for later roasting or seed saving for next years garden.
Once squash are prepared, line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake the butternut squash halves flesh down for approximately 45 minutes or until quite tender.
After the squash has baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. The skins will peel away from the squash easily then transfer to a large stock pot.
Puree the butternut squash using an immersion blender or food processor to puree the squash.
The immersion blender makes manual mashing or using a food processor a thing of the past. In just a matter of minutes the job is complete and super easy and quick to clean up.
It’s quite easy to freeze butternut squash puree. Simply fill medium sized freezer bags with 2 cups of pureed squash to easily use for recipes later on. Label the bag with the amount and the date.
Use your squash within 6 months to a year.
Lay bags flat between cookie sheets until frozen then stand in freezer drawers for ultimate storage.
Pureed butternut squash can be used for baking, adding to soups, chilli, casserole or even pasta sauces.
HOW TO BLANCH BUTTERNUT SQUASH FOR FREEZING
Blanching is a popular method of preserving flavor and vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables before freezing.
It’s also a guick and easy method to stop the ripening process of the squash and to easily remove skins.
Most cooks suggest blanching for three to five minutes then cooling in ice water followed immediately with freezing. The reason we blanch is it kills enzymes that continue the aging process thus retaining vital nutrients and a palatable texture.
Isn’t it exciting that you know how to easily and quickly freeze butternut squash? I mean nothing feels better than making the most of what you have and getting a good deal. You’re future self will thank you when you’re tired and needing to whip up a healthy meal for your family.
What do you plan to use your frozen butternut squash for? Comment below and inspire more great content from MrAnimal Farm.
An added plus is you’ll be prepared and you don’t have to worry about wasting a good crop or a great deal at the store.
Thanks to Diana Bouchard for this tutorial contribution.
Diana Bouchard at Wandering Hoof Ranch helps others plan to lead a homegrown healthier lifestyle without the overwhelm and burn out. People often ask her how do you grow and raise your own food and stay sane? Day by day, one thing at a time with the help of the Happy Homestead Planning System.
If you need more help getting your foods frozen, check out the Ultimate Freezing Food Guide for a complete quick start reference so that you can have a well-stocked freezer.