Winter Squash

Winter Squash

Winter squash are harvested in late summer or autumn, just before or after their fruits reach full maturity. Squash have a relatively long shelf life. Some varieties will keep through winter, hence the name winter squash.

To store winter squash:

Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. They get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

To prep winter squash:

Stand the squash up and slice in half lengthwise around the “belly-button.” Scoop out seeds.

To use winter squash:

To bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place face down on a cookie sheet. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes (60-90 minutes for larger squash) until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, seasoning or fillings. Delicata squash can be cut into rounds and baked since the skins of this squash are edible.

To freeze winter squash:

Let the cooked squash cool to near room temperature. Then transfer to ice cube trays or Ziploc bags and freeze. Store for up to 8 months in freezer.

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is a mildly sweet squash with orange flesh and green-black skin. There are also varieties with striped speckled skin. It has heavy ribbing and is acorn-shaped.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash has tan skin and a shape like a peanut. It has bright orange flesh and is one of the sweetest squashes.

Delicata Winter Squash

Delicata squash is oblong and cream-colored with dark green stripes and flecks along its length. The skins of this squash are edible.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash has unusual string-like flesh, which looks like spaghetti when scraped out with a fork. They are often baked or boiled and then the mildly sweet flesh is scooped out and served with butter and Parmesan cheese or topped with spaghetti sauce.

Heads of garlic

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