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10 simple steps to enjoying butternut squash year round

10 simple steps to enjoying butternut squash year round
This cousin of the pumpkin has become one of my favorite vegetables. Growing up the dishes filed with a bit of squash and lots of multicolored mini marshmallows revolted me.  As I have matured I have discovered a true appreciation of recipes which call for subtle uses of it's flavor and texture.  That man who grills it with a dash of salt and pepper, and a schemer of garlic butter.  My mother's mashed version with butter and a drizzle of local maple syrup. In a simple curry as they do at the vegetarian restaurant at Nanputo temple.  Bursting with vitamins and minerals, this vegetable needs no embellishments to make a statement.  Here are ten simple steps to make it available all year round:
  1. Clean your butternut squash with a vegetable scrubber and cold running water.
  2. Cut off the stem of the butternut squash and slice it in half.
  3. Scoop out the stringy fibers and seeds with a spoon.
  4. Peel the skin off. 
  5. Cut squash into chunks.
  6. Place the chunks into a large pot of boiling water. Boil for three minutes to blanch. A study by Colorado State University found that this quick-boiling technique method slows the enzymatic action of fruit and vegetables to help preserve the flavor, nutrients and texture while freezing.
  7. Drain squash through a colander.
  8. Place the colander in a large pan of cold, ice water to cool the butternut squash.
  9. Put squash into freezer bags and seal tightly.
  10. Mark the bag with the date and "butternut squash."

10 simple steps to enjoying butternut squash year round

This work for pumpkin too.  You can store squash in the freezer for up to one year.

More ways to preserve the flavors of fall:

Photo Credit:  Julie Cecchini
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