Winter squash is part of the gourd family, there are several varieties:
- To ease prep, cook winter squash in its skin whenever possible.
- To make peeling easier, halve or quarter winter squash.
- Save the seeds—toss with olive oil and salt, then bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.
- Sweet potatoes can be replaced by winter squash in many recipes.
To select a fully-ripe squash at the peak of its flavor, look for firm, dull- colored skin. A fully-ripe squash will be heavy for its size. If the squash is too young, the skin will be shiny and the flesh less flavorful; if it is too old, the skin will be crinkled and the flesh fibrous.
- Winter storage: Remove all dirt and leave on a portion of the stem. Store out of the sunlight, between 50-60°F, with good ventilation. Depending on the variety, winter squash can be stored between 1-6 months.
- Refrigerate winter squash only if it has been cut or cooked.
- To freeze: Cook and purée, then place in a labeled and dated freezer-grade bag.
Kid Friendly Eating Tips
- Make it savory: cube, add olive oil, your favorite dried herb, salt and pepper, then roast; add to a salad, taco, rice dish, omelet or mac and cheese.
- Make it sweet: slice, add olive oil, maple syrup and/or cinnamon.
- Halve squashes, roast upside down, then add a stuffing.
- Purée roasted squash for a soup or pie!
- Guess the number of seeds in different varieties of squash.
- Taste test roasted winter squash with various seasonings, such as, dried basil, oregano or rosemary, maple syrup and cinnamon.
Info from NH Harvest of the Month