Butternut squash can be frozen for later use. That’s a great way to preserve the texture and flavor for several months. But, if it is from raw, then it is not that straightforward as it is with other vegetables.
You need to freeze it slightly cooked and not raw. This process is called ‘blanching’ (no, I didn’t know either) and it goes like this.
Whether you’re adding it to a soup, roasting it as a side dish, or using it as a base for a delicious sauce, squash is an amazing and healthy option. It goes so well with so many recipes!
How do you prepare squash for freezing?
Preparing squash for freezing is a simple process that involves a few key steps.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to prepare it for freezing:
Choose the right squash: Select fresh, ripe, and unblemished squash for freezing. Squash should be harvested at their peak ripeness for the best flavor and texture.
Wash: Wash the squash thoroughly with cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
Cut: Cut the squash in half lengthwise (you’ll need a sharp knife!) and remove the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Then, cut the squash into cubes or slices.
Blanch: Blanch the squash in boiling water for a few minutes (I do around 7 min for a medium sized squash) depending on the size of the cubes or slices. Blanching helps to preserve the texture, color, and flavor of the squash.
Cool: Remove the squash from the boiling water and immediately transfer it to a bowl or the empty saucepan. Add now cold water. This stops the cooking process and prevents the squash from becoming mushy.
Dry: (Optional) Drain the squash thoroughly and pat it dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.
Package: Transfer the cooled and dried squash into freezer-safe containers or bags. Be sure to label the containers with the date and contents.
Freeze: Place the containers or bags in the freezer and store for up to 6-8 months.
By following these simple steps, you can easily prepare squash for freezing and enjoy the delicious flavor and texture of squash in your favorite recipes all year round.
Do you have to peel butternut squash to freeze it?
Yes, it’s recommended to peel butternut squash before freezing it. The skin of the squash can become tough and leathery after being frozen, making it difficult to remove and affecting the texture of the squash.
Peeling the butternut squash also helps to prevent the growth of bacteria that may be present on the skin, ensuring the squash stays fresh and safe to eat.
Can you freeze butternut squash puree?
Freezing butternut squash puree is a great idea! It helps preserve the squash’s flavor and nutrients for future use.
Here’s how I do it:
Cut the butternut squash into small cubes and boil until it’s tender. Then, transfer the cooked squash to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You can add spices like nutmeg or cinnamon, or sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to accentuate the puree’s flavors.
Allow the butternut squash puree to cool to room temperature. Using freezer-safe containers or bags, pour the puree inside. Larger or smaller portions, like ice cubes, will depend on how you wish to use it later.
Mark the containers or bags with the date and its contents. Place them in the freezer and store for up to 6-8 months.
When you’re ready to use the butternut squash puree, thaw it overnight in the fridge or by microwaving it. It’s a great ingredient for soups, baked goods or stews as if it was fresh.
What is the best way to freeze squash?
The best way to freeze squash is to use freezer-safe containers or bags that are airtight and moisture-resistant. They are so convenient!
You can add different herbs or spices to vary the taste and label it for later use according to the use you’re planning for them.
Roast, curry, different winter squashes etc.
Can you freeze raw squash?
If you want to freeze raw butternut squash, it’s best to blanch it first. You just need to give it a quick boil, then transfer it to some ice water to stop the cooking process. This will keep the texture, color, and flavor of the squash intact. Plus, it’ll keep any sneaky bacteria from hiding out in your freezer.
If you don’t blanch it first, you might end up with some funky flavors, weird textures, and none of the good nutrients. Not to mention, all those bacteria just waiting to party in your freezer.
Can you freeze butternut squash soup recipe without milk or cream?
Yes, you can freeze butternut squash soup that doesn’t contain milk or cream. In fact, soups without dairy products tend to freeze better than those with dairy.
The reason why soups without dairy products tend to freeze better than those with dairy is because dairy products have a tendency to separate and become grainy or lumpy when frozen and then thawed. This is because the water in the dairy products separates from the fats and proteins during freezing, and then when thawed, the fats and proteins can clump together and form a grainy texture.
Can you make butternut squash soup in a slow cooker?
Absolutely! In fact using a slow cooker to make butternut squash soup has, in my opinion, a few advantages over making it in a traditional saucepan.
|Slow Cooker||Traditional Saucepan|
|Convenient, set-it-and-forget-it cooking||More control over cooking process|
|Tender, easy-to-puree squash||Shorter cooking time|
|Flavorful, deeply melded flavors||Less equipment needed|
Ultimately, the choice between making butternut squash soup in a slow cooker versus a traditional saucepan depends on your personal preferences and convenience.
A slow cooker is ideal for a hands-off cooking experience and a deeper flavor profile, while a traditional saucepan is better if you prefer more control over the cooking process or need to make the soup quickly.
Is butternut squash good for your gut?
Butternut squash can be good for your tummy. It has fiber which helps the good bugs in your belly grow and keeps you from getting stopped up. It also has vitamins like vitamin A and C plus minerals like potassium and magnesium. These help your tummy stay healthy too.
Additionally, butternut squash is low in FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols), which are types of carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest for some people with digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This makes butternut squash a good choice for people following a low FODMAP diet.
Blanching your butternut squash before freezing it preserves flavour and nutrition, giving you the best of both worlds for all your flavourful, nutritious meals. This method requires only a few simple steps and minimal cooking time.
Not only does it lock in freshness and flavor, but frozen cubes take up less space than either cooked or fully prepared squash, so you can stock them in your freezer for anytime snacking pleasure!
All in all, this is a great way to prepare butternut squash that is both delicious and convenient. So what are you waiting for? Show off your skills with these easy prep steps in blanching and then freezing butternut squash-and don’t be afraid to get creative with it!