Butternut Squash is a gorgeous fruit well-known as an ingredient in cooking more than as a fruit. It’s a multi-purpose fruit you can use in various dishes, including salad, stews, soups, lasagna, chili, and many more.
Butternut squash is enormous, and it is impossible to complete the entire thing in one go.
Furthermore, it is an excellent winter squash readily accessible in the autumn and winter, full of vitamin C and other essential nutrients during the colder months.
Although it’s possible to purchase it outside of the summer and spring, you’ll typically spend more than if you purchase it during the season. This is because of the costs associated with it being brought in from other locations currently in stock.
Freezing any vegetable or fruit lets you save the leftovers and then purchase large quantities for use throughout the year.
Can you freeze butternut squash? So, keep reading to discover the answer!
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash can be frozen well, whether cooked or raw. Butternut squash can undergo minor modifications upon freezing, resulting in a less firm texture. But since butternut squash is usually consumed cooked, these changes won’t be too noticeable.
As with all fresh vegetables, blanch butternut squash before freezing. Blanching the butternut in hot water will inhibit the natural enzyme activity of ripening, causing the squash to lose flavor, color, and nutritional value.
Butternut squash that is blanched will last longer and be of an improved quantity in the freezer.
Blanching is not required if you intend to use your frozen butternut within four months of freezing.
Butternut is not a good choice to freeze when it isn’t mature, nor is it in poor condition and is showing signs of degrading or is nearing expiration.
How do I Freeze Butternut squash?
Follow the steps below to store raw butternut squash in the most efficient method.
Prepare Your Squash
First, you must remove your butternut squash and take off the skin. It’s unpleasant to eat, and even after a lengthy roast, it’s still difficult to eat. Use a sharp knife to gently peel off your tough skin and chop the butternut squash into equally-sized pieces.
The next step is to cook your butternut squash chunks in salted, boiling water for approximately 5 minutes or until the edges are tender. Put your butternut squash in cold water to stop the cooking and make their temperature comfortable.
Remove the water from the ice cold and dry it off with towelettes to ensure that any extra water is removed.
Place your butternut squash on baking sheets and make sure no pieces are touching each other. The tray should be covered with foil or clingfilm and placed in the freezer for a night.
After the tray has been frozen, take this tray from the freezer, then place the frozen pieces into an airtight freezer bag or container and put them back in the freezer.
Be sure to label and date the container before putting it in the freezer.
It’s also important to note that this technique works for all squash varieties and also with different sizes. It’s possible to slice the squash into smaller cubes, large chunks, or even pieces.
This method is pretty universal to most hard root vegetables like Swede, carrots and parsnips.
Butternut squash freezing tips (4 helpful tips)
Now that you know how to freeze squash, here are four tips for optimum results:
Blanching is the most common method. If you don’t flash the squash before freezing, you’ll notice that it becomes clumpy, and you won’t be able to defrost a portion at a time. This can make it difficult to utilize.
There is a way to make simple vegetable blends that can later be used as ready-to-eat dishes for your side dishes. Before freezing the mix, it is possible to roast the onion, squash, celeriac, carrots and parsnips.
Compared with freezing butternut squash’s natural state, it is essential to blanch the squash before freezing. It is an arduous and lengthy procedure; however, it can help the squash retain its texture and flavour.
Both processes can take quite a long time; however, flash-freezing can help you remove the exact amount you need.
Varieties of Squash
The methods explained above are not limited to using butternut squash that is fresh.
There is an array of varieties of squash based on the season. These onion-squash and spaghetti squash varieties are among the most delicious.
Can you refreeze Butternut Squash?
If you refreeze squash, the main change is the texture. This could be an issue if you’ve frozen your butternut squash into chunks.
If you’ve pureed or transformed soup from it, refreezing it shouldn’t pose the issue. It might be that it’s not as tasty; however, there shouldn’t be any significant changes.
Of course, you could eliminate the necessity of refreezing by simply thawing the amount you require. This is why it’s an excellent suggestion to keep squash frozen in small portions.
What is the best way to thaw frozen Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash that is raw can be cooked after being frozen. Take the frozen pieces out of bags in the freezer, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and then place them directly in the oven to roast.
Butternuts that have been cooked can be placed in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. To speed up the defrosting process, you can also put the bag that has been sealed in warm water for a couple of minutes.
Butternut soup is reheatable on the stovetop from frozen or in an unprotected bowl and then microwaved with Defrost mode. Make sure to stir the soup in 60-second intervals to ensure uniform heating.
Butternut squash is the ideal winter food ingredient that makes nutritious soups, stews, and pies.
But, even though squash is considered a winter one, the fact that you can freeze it allows you to use it all year long. It’s also ideal for reducing the amount of food you waste and your time preparing meals.
The best aspect of butternut squash isn’t only the many ways to use it and the wide variety of methods to cook and freeze it.
You can freeze it raw and cook it. It can also be cooked and frozen in certain instances and even puréed before freezing for later use in pie filling or soup.
When you freeze your butternut squash, you’ll be able to enjoy it longer, and that’s a plus, especially for people who are in a home and cannot eat the entire squash in one go!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can butternut squash last?
Do not store whole butternut squash. It can last for a month in a dark, cool area. Peeled Butternut squash should be stored in a tightly-closed container and then refrigerated for up to five days.
How can you tell if butternut squash is good?
Butternut squash should feel firm and heavy. It will feel similar to an avocado that’s not ripe. The stem should be in good condition since it helps ensure it stays fresher for longer. Tap the squash using your knuckles. If you hear it sound hollow, then it’s mature.
Can squash be frozen whole?
It isn’t possible to keep the squash in its entirety. The process of blanching squash before freezing is crucial since it destroys an enzyme that aids in preserving the vegetable. It’s almost impossible to blanch the entire squash.
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