Saturday, March 1, 2014

How to Freeze Butternut Squash

Joe loves butternut squash, well all squash really!  His love of the stuff has broadened my food horizons considerably.  I never realized how many different types of squash there are and how many different ways it can be prepared.  What I've also discovered is that most squashes are too big for the amount called for in a recipe.  At first I just put more squash in the dish than called for, but I realized that really masked the other wonderful flavors that are in the recipe.  So what to do with the extra?  Freeze it!  I'm sure this is not news to most of you, but it was an Aha! moment for me.
The next time you get one of those wonderful butternut squashes and you have more than you can use, give the freezer a try.  I did a little bit of "research" on the best way to freeze squash.  Google (isn't she great?) informed me that you just cube the entire squash like you would for most dishes anyways.  Spread the squash cubes out on a baking sheet with sides so that none of the pieces are touching.  I learned the hard way that sides are necessary if you don't want squash cubes all over your freezer.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours (or overnight) until the squash has a chance to freeze.  This step is important because it keeps the squash pieces from sticking to each other and creating one big frozen chunk.  Remove from the freezer and place in an airtight container.  I prefer a gallon zipper plastic storage bag because you can remove the extra air and conform it to the other things in your freezer.
That's it!  When you're ready to utilize that extra squash, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to start thawing.  Cook with it in your favorite dish!
Next up, I'll be sharing what I made with our frozen squash pieces: Thai Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup
What is your favorite butternut squash recipe?  If you have one, please leave a comment below sharing the deliciousness with all of us.  I'm always looking for new squash recipes due to the aforementioned LOVE of all things squash.

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