Winter squash (includes acorn, buttercup, butternut, and hubbard varieties) is rich in Vitamin A (beta-carotene), dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), and potassium. If it is eaten without added fat or salt, it is naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium.
Planting and Harvesting Winter Squash
Since winter squash is harvested mainly during the time that pumpkins are harvested, they need to be planted in the late summer months (August to September). Harvesting would then occur October to November.
|Plant Winter Squash||Harvest Winter Squash|
|August to September||October to November|
Storing Winter Squash
Winter squash should be stored in a cool, dry place (a root cellar or pantry) and will keep for several months. There is no need to store it in the refrigerator.
Choosing and Freezing Winter Squash
Choose firm, well-shaped squash that are heavy for their size and have a hard, tough skin. Do not choose those that have sunken or moldy spots. Avoid squash with cuts or punctures in the skin. Also, slight variations in skin color do not affect flavor. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which is a sign of poor quality in winter squash varieties.
The steps to preparing winter squash for freezing are as follows:
Blanching Procedures for Winter Squash
- Cut squash into small pieces, remove seeds and peel.
- Cook until soft.
- Mash pulp or put through sieve.
- Cool by placing pan containing squash over crushed ice and stir until cool.
- Place in an appropriate freeze bag, or container, with 1/2″ head-space; freeze.
The following recipe can be used with any squash puree.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3/4 cup squash puree
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, squash, and eggs.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Fold this into the other mixture just enough to moisten the dry ingredients.
- Stir in the raisins and nuts. Pour the batter into a greased 9″X5″ loaf pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Nutritional Analysis (per serving): Calories:234; Protein:3.5 gm; Carbohydrates:28.1 gm; Total Fat:12.7 gm; Cholesterol:31.2 gm; Dietary Fiber:1.4 gm; Vitamin A:68.7 RE; Folate:14.7 mcg; Vitamin C:1.8 mg; Calcium:60.4 mg; Potassium:165 mg; Sodium:92 mg;
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Bread, 1 Fruit, 2 Fat (with raisins and nuts) or 1 Bread, 1 Fat (without raisins and nuts).
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
Publication Revised January 2009