7 Simple Steps to Processing a Butternut Squash

I have always avoided any kind of Squash with a 10 foot pole. I’ve decided a long time ago that I just don’t like squashy vegetables, no reason. Now, I might have blocked off some unpleasant memory of eating squashy meals, but I honestly cannot remember ever consuming any type of squash. Yep, I have always claimed I don’t like them. As you might have gathered from the title of this post, this has recently changed. I can’t remember how or why, but I have started integrating different types of squash in my cooking and so far I have enjoyed each type. I have used the following squashes in my family meals: Chayote Squash and Spaghetti Squash. And most recently Butternut Squash has made it into my cooking.

Chayote Squash usually makes it into my salads because it has a crispy, apple-like mouth feel to it and I would hate to lose it by cooking it. Spaghetti Squash is usually roasted, by cutting in half, scooping out the seeds and placing on a cookie sheet to soften in the oven; next it’s transferred with spices and coconut oil into the frying pan by scooping out the “spaghetti strands”. Now, Butternut squash is different, it seems so much more difficult to process and this is why I have decided to put together a simple hack to make Butternut Squash easier for you, so that, you too, can integrate it into your cooking 🙂

I used to do this process all wrong, making it an unpleasantly difficult task, but since I learned these simple steps, prepping and processing a Butternut Squash has been a breeze. I used to either roast it the same way as the Spaghetti Squash but that seemed to make it lose its vibrant orange colour or peel the Squash before it was cooked and then cube it, but this on the other hand is extremely difficult, given the plastic-like quality of the peel. So here is an easier way:

  1. Cut the ends of your Squash.wpid-IMG_20141229_094906-2014-12-30-15-42.jpg
  2. Next cut the Squash lengthwise so you end up with 2 halves.wpid-IMG_20141229_094956-2014-12-30-15-42.jpg
  3. You will next have to scoop out the seeds and as much of the strands as you can, but don’t worry if there are some left. Your cubes don’t have to look perfect, the taste will more than make up for the look.wpid-IMG_20141229_095006-2014-12-30-15-42.jpgwpid-IMG_20141229_095219-2014-12-30-15-42.jpg
  4. Once you have that done, you can now slice your Squash into somewhat equal stripes like so:wpid-IMG_20141229_095313-2014-12-30-15-42.jpg
  5. Now, you can easily peel each individual stripe pretty much like peeling an apple. OK, it’s still quite a bit of doing, but nothing compared to peeling the Squash in one piece!wpid-IMG_20141229_095442-2014-12-30-15-42.jpg
  6. Once you have individual slices peeled you are ready for chopping.wpid-IMG_20141229_095618-2014-12-30-15-42.jpg
  7. Voilà, a tray full of cubed Butternut Squash ready for roasting. I pop it in the over at 400F for about 15 minutes, just to soften them up a bit.wpid-IMG_20141229_095627-2014-12-30-15-42.jpg

Once lightly softened I transfer them into an air tight container for later enjoyment. I might use them to make a Butternut Squash soup (for a great recipe I invite you to have a peak at Your Healthy Hedonista’s website), or sear them in coconut oil with spices and serve them like a potato hash with sunny side ups. Enjoy!