This time of year gardens and stores are filled with a bounty of different squashes. Squash is one of my favorite foods, it can be cooked in so many ways from veggie side dishes to pies and cakes. The flavor of home cooked squash can not compare the cans you buy in the store. Fresh squash has a rich taste that even my 2 year old says is “delicious”! We were blessed with a good yield of Butternut squashes this year. I’m busy baking and pureeing it up to preserve for the winter.
To bake a butternut squash lay it on it’s side and carefully press a knife through the center. Cut down towards the bottom end, then turn the squash around and cut from the middle back to the top. Open the squash and remove the seeds that are in the bottom of the squash.
Place them upside down in a baking tray and add about 3 cups of water. This will help keep the squash from sticking to the pan as it cooks. Cover with foil.
Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes.
To tell if the squash is done, gently press with a fork. If the fork easily presses through the squash you know it’s done! Let it cool until it’s easy to handle. Turn the squash over and scoop out the the cooked flesh. Puree this in a food processor or a blender. If you don’t have one you can also use a potato masher and hand mixer.
If your not wanting to use the puree right a way, you can freeze it in storage containers or freezer bags. I prefer to measure mine out in 2 cup portions, I find most of my recipes use this amount. You can also dehydrate the puree. I will be adding a video on how to do that soon.
This same basic method can be used for most squashes and butternut puree can be substituted easily in any recipe calling for pumpkin puree.