You might eat various types of vegetables throughout the year, but there are some variants that are seasonal and unless you freeze them, there is no way to enjoy their taste at other times. One such instance is Butternut squash. It is edible with bright orange, sweet flesh and a hard outer skin that is inedible. Native to Mexico this vegetable is available from September to November. When frozen, it can last for a couple months if stored properly. People freeze chunks of the vegetable for use later in various dishes.
Ways To Freeze Butternut Squash Chunks
There are mainly two ways to freeze and store Butternut squash chunks. You can either store them in raw or cooked form. Some people prefer to make a puree from the vegetable and store it, but storing as cubes offers you more versatility in cooking.
Freezing Butternut Squash Chunks In Raw Form
- At first, you need to cut the vegetable in half and discard both ends. Using a sharp knife, shave off its outer coating or layer. Now, cut the squash into cubes.
- You may cut it in one inch cubes and use a cutting board for convenience. Discard the seeds as you cut into chunks.
- Now spread the Butternut squash chunks on a baking sheet and put into refrigerator. Wait until the pieces become solid and frozen. Ensure the pieces are placed in a way that they do not touch one another.
- Once the chunks are frozen, pour them in a freezer-safe plastic container. Ensure the container has some empty space on top. Do not use a glass container.
- Now, put the containers with frozen butternut squash in the refrigerator. They can safely be kept for a few months. Later, you can use the frozen pieces into dishes for cooking.
Freezing Butternut Squash Chunks In Cooked Form
- You may store the squash chunks in cooked form.
- At first, you need to preheat the oven to 100 degree C. Take a large capacity baking dish.
- Using a large and sharp knife, you need to cut the squash in two halves.
- Next, discard all seeds and pulp using a large spoon or ice cream scoop.
- Then add water in baking dish and put the cut squash in it. Bake the dish for an hour or so. Use a knife to check if the squash has become tender.
- Once the squash pieces have become soft, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
- After the cooked squash is cool, peel and dice it. You may use fingers, but using a sharp knife produces the best result in this regard.
- Dice the squash into 1 inch cubes with the knife.
- Place the cubes on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours. Check if they have turned solid and frozen. Ensure the squash cubes do not touch one another.
- Once the cubes are frozen, put them into a plastic based freezer safe container. Some people also opt for plastic freezer bags that are re-sealable. Do not jam pack the bag or container with cubes. If required, use two or more containers to store the cubes
- These cooked cubes can be kept frozen for several months. As a matter of fact, you will not need to thaw them for use in cooking.
Tips You Can Benefit From
You can use a vegetable peeler to take off the outer skin instead of a knife. However, this is a large vegetable and using a sharp knife will save you time for sure. If you do not want to use an oven, it is okay to use a microwave. In that case, you will need to cut the cubes in advance and boil them using the highest microwave power level for 15 minutes or so. You may also boil the cubes on the stove using a large and deep pan, half filled with water. If you use plastic freezer bags, it would be a prudent move to wrap it within another plastic bag. If you store cooked cubes of the squash, wait till the cubes are completely cool. Or else, they may lead to vapor formation within bags.