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How to Freeze Butternut Squash Safely

When you use butternut squash to make a soup or chilli or some other dish, do you end up with some leftovers? I usually do if I used a whole squash, because butternut squash can be quite big and you don’t usually need a lot of it for an individual recipe. Even when making butternut squash dishes for the entire family, there is usually plenty of the squash left over.

So, what to do with that remaining squash? You may not feel like using it the next day, so you want to look at storing it long term. How to freeze butternut squash? Do you need to cook it or store it raw? Does it need to be blanched like a lot of other veggies do to keep it from deteriorating and not tasting so fresh? I’m going to answer (hopefully) all of your questions about how to freeze fresh butternut squash or any kind of butternut squash, really.

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How to Prepare Your Squash

Okay, let’s talk about freezer prep. What do you have to do to get your butternut squash ready to be stored in the freezer? You will need a freezer safe storage container. A resealable freezer bag or plastic container that is freezer safe will do just fine. Your storage container should be airtight and large enough to comfortably hold all the squash without bursting open.

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There isn’t a need to blanch the squash at all, even though some people recommend it. I personally have found no difference between blanched and unblanched squash in the freezer. It always seems to taste the same and come out fresh to me, but you may have a slightly different experience. It may be worth trying both methods to see what tastes better.

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If you want to blanch the butternut squash, that simply means boiling it at a high temperature for a few minutes in a pot of water, and then plunging it into an ice bath. Then, store it into your freezer right away. Be sure to wipe off the excess water first.

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What this does is stop the breaking down of enzymes over time. It is supposed to keep the squash from going bad so quickly, ensuring that it lasts longer in a fresh state. This is important for berries and many kinds of fruits and veggies, as it helps them to store longer and come out tasting fresh when you are ready to use them. You may find that it helps the butternut squash as well, but I don’t feel it is necessary.

You can store the squash raw or cooked. Either way works fine, and the method you use will be practically the same for both. How to freeze raw butternut squash? Just place it directly into a freezer safe container. If you are using a plastic bag, be sure to get out as much of the air as possible. The squash can be cubed, diced or even whole. I find it works best for long-term storage if I cut it up into more usable portion and then I can break off what I need when necessary. You may also want to store smaller portions in separate bags in the freezer so you don’t have to break off any frozen squash to use it.

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What about how to freeze cooked butternut squash? You can use the same method as above for freeze squash, but just make sure it is allowed to cool down to room temperature before you store it. Once again, you might want to cut the squash into small, usable pieces before storing it. Once the squash is frozen solid, it could be tough to take out only what you need.

How to freeze butternut squash soup? Just use the same method for cooked squash above- let it cool and store it in a freezer safe container.

How Long Is Butternut Squash Good for in the Freezer?

Once you store your squash in the freezer, how long will it be safe to store it there until it starts to go bad? How soon do you need to use the butternut squash you have frozen?

Whether you are using cooked, raw, cubed, or any other kind of butternut squash, you should expect it to last about three months. You might find that blanching the squash makes it last even longer, but three months is about as long as you should expect for your butternut squash to stay fresh in freezer storage.

How to Cook Butternut Squash

You know how to freeze butternut squash cubes, chunks, soup and more now. You should feel like a squash freezer storage expert at this point, but I want to share a few tips with you about cooking your butternut squash.

There are lots of ways you can cook up your butternut squash. My favourite way is to boil it in some water. This is a very healthy method, as it allows the squash to retain a lot of its nutrients. It also uses no oil, so you are not adding anything unhealthy to the food. Use as much water as you like and just drain out the water when you are done cooking it.

I also like frying squash in a shallow pan of oil, using very little oil and flipping the squash over to cook it evenly. You can use butter as well, and you can keep this healthy by using an oil like coconut oil or olive oil, if you like.

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05/18/2021 11:30 am GMT

Another healthy method is to roast your squash, baking it in the oven on a baking sheet at a high temperature. This cooks the squash all the way through, making it tender and tasty. Add some seasonings or other veggies to make a complete dish that is flavourful and healthy. Like boiling, this helps to retain much of the nutrients, but not as much as you would get if you were to use raw squash.

How do you use raw squash in your food? You can make it into a chilli or a salad, and it will be slightly crunchy, similar to raw pumpkin or cucumber.

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My favourite way to have butternut squash? Grilled on a kebab is my personal favourite, and it’s a quick, simple and savoury dish, so that’s what I do with it if I have leftover squash I want to make up quickly.

 

 

Written by Pauline

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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