Do you struggle to know what to do with Butternut Squash? If you want to know how to cut a butternut squash and how to cook a butternut squash, then we have the methods, tips and recipes.
A Butternut Squash - not only is it quite a funny looking vegetable, but it has a funny name too! No butter and no nut... but it is a squash! This sometimes intimidating vegetable, may put a lot of people off, but it's actually really easy to cook with. Not only that, but it's super healthy and delicious too.
Why should you try it?
- Excellent source of vitamins and minerals
- High Antioxidant content
- Can help prevent high blood pressure
- The seeds are great source of dietary fibre
- Actually really easy to cook
Step by step
One: Firstly, remove the top.
Two: Chop the bottom off.
Three: Use a good quality peeler or sharp knife to peel the skin, removing all of the white "under" skin.
Four: Cut the squash just where it bulges out.
Five: Cut the bottom section in half.
Six: Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Save these for later.
Seven: This will leave you with a top section and two halves of the bottom section.
Eight: Slice the top into circles and the bottom sections into arcs.
Nine: Chop the slices into cubes of about 2cm (¾ inch).
Is butternut squash healthy?
Yes - it is extremely healthy. Butternut Squash is very low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. It is a good source of dietary fibre and it is often recommended by dietitians to help in the control of cholesterol. It is high in Vitamins A and B and has plenty of natural polyphenolic flavonoid compounds. They are also high in minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
How to select a butternut squash
There are a few things to look for when buying a butternut squash:
- Colour. The darker the better - this shows how ripe it is. Also, make sure there are no green patches.
- Skin. The skin should not be shiny - make sure it is matte.
- Weight. The squash should feel quite weighty in your hands.
- Tap test. Give the squash a tap with your knuckles and it should sound hollow.
How to peel it
A good quality peeler is a must for peeling squash skin, as it can be pretty tough. If you don't have a peeler, or the one you have isn't up to the task, you can cut the top and bottom off the squash (steps 1 and 2, above), stand the squash up and use a sharp knife to cut the skin off in a downward motion. Be careful not to remove too much flesh doing it this way.
Quick tip: To soften the skin, use a fork or sharp knife to pierce holes in the skin and put it in the microwave for two minutes. This will make peeling a little easier.
Some butternut squash recipes
Here are some of our favourite ways to use butternut squash:
What to do with the seeds
Butternut squash seeds are an excellent source of fibre and mono-unsaturated acids that are great for a healthy heart. They are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. The seeds also contain the amino acid Tryptophan, which converts to the GABA neurochemical in the human brain - which is a good thing!
To cook the seeds, first pinch away any of the squash flesh that is attached and then rinse under cold water. Pat them dry with kitchen towel. Toss them in a bowl with a little oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking tray in one layer and roast at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 20-25 minutes.
How to store
A fresh butternut squash, that hasn't been cut or peeled, should be kept in a cool, dark place. Here it will last for 1-3 months. Uncooked, diced butternut squash should be put in a sealed container and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Cooked butternut squash should be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Yes, it certainly is! But first you need to clean the skin. REALLY clean it! Read that again: REALLY CLEAN THE SKIN!! Use an apple cider vinegar and scrub the skin well. You need to do this as the skin can hold pollutants, but by using an acid like vinegar, all toxins should be removed. Then, simply toss in oil and salt and bake until the skin dries out and becomes crispy.
If diced, spread it out on parchment paper on a tray and freeze on the tray. Once frozen, remove from the tray and transfer to a container and freeze for up to 3 months. If mashed, simply put into a freezing container and freeze for up to 3 months.
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DON’T FORGET TO RATE THE HOW-TO ↓
How To Cut A Butternut Squash
- Chef's knife
- 1 kg Butternut Squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Remove the top and bottom.
- Using a good quality peeler or sharp knife to peel the skin, removing all of the white "under" skin.
- Cut the squash just where it bulges out.
- Cut the bottom section in half.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Save these for later.
- This will leave you with a top section and two halves of the bottom section.
- Slice the top into circles and the bottom sections into arcs.
- Chop the slices into cubes of about 2cm (¾ inch).