3. Cooking Squash: How To Cook Butternut Squash

  • The butternut squash has meat that is deep orange and has a dense fulfilling texture. Once cooked butternut squash tastes like sweet potatoes. Butternut squash is well priced, highly available, great quality and versatile. It is a great source of potassium, vitamin C and beta carotene as well and it is full of fiber, low in fats and in sodium, squash is very ideal for a healthy heart, cancer prevention and loss of weight. Its season is mainly from August to March but you will always find it on sale at all times of the year.

    Butternut squash ravioli cream sauce is one of the winter squash varieties, others include; acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash and Hubbard. This means that they can all substitute each other in recipes with very mild changes in taste as they are quite similar.

    Selection And Storage Of Butternut Squash:

    When shopping for butternut squash ensure you select one that has a long neck with a relatively smaller bottom. The neck area has solid meat and no seeds which eases cutting. The bottom has the seed cavity which is full of flesh which is soft in texture and has strings. The outer part of the squash should be very dry, have uniform hardness, and be gash, mold and spot free. Select the ones that seem heavier than they seem. Handle the squash carefully to avoid bruising.

    Storage of butternut should be in cool, dry places that have great air circulation. With good conditions they can be stored all winter. Degrees of above 55 are good but anything below that is not ideal. If the flesh around the seed pod is mushy this means the squash has been stored too long.

    Preparing Butternut Squash:

    One disadvantage of butternut squash is its difficulty in peeling. Some markets have pre peeled squashes which can save on time when preparing squash. When buying these ones ensure you inspect the package and check for moist, clean surfaces. Ensure you rinse it in cold water regardless of whether it has been pre washed.

    When peeling squash start by cutting a thin strip from both bottom ends that way it stands upright. Cut the area where the slender neck meets the rounder bottom that way the cylinders are easier to peel. Remove the stringy portions and the seeds then cut into pieces that are uniform. However, there are recipes that one must roast squash with its skin. Once it’s cooked removing the skin is easier.

    Cooking Butternut Squash:

    There are various methods of butternut squash ravioli cream sauce but roasting is the easiest method and it gives it the best flavor. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise to the middle then remove its seeds. Place it on a baking pan that is ungreased. Sprinkle it with pepper and salt. Dot them with butter or margarine. Ensure the cut sides are upwards during baking so they don’t get steamed as they will lose that amazing nutty flavor. Bake for around 45 minutes at a temperature of 375 degrees or till they are tender.

    After it cools down, the squash is easy to peel thus used in recipes that require cooked squash. Scoop the flesh out then puree or mash it in a blender or food processor. It is also possible to refrigerate leftovers or freeze them for other occasions. Roasted butternut squash Ravioli with Cream Sauce is a great meal that one can easily make from the leftover squash.

    Tender, baked squash is a staple that can be eaten in winter and the fall as it can be used for many recipes. Traditionally it was used to make soups and breads but it can also be used for pies and cakes, salads, side dishes and as a great ingredient in soufflé, curries, rice, couscous dishes and pasta.