Butternut squash puree is a great ingredient to have on hand. It is delicious in soups and baked goods and it makes an excellent side dish. It is also an excellent baby food. Once you learn how to make your own squash puree, you won't have to settle for or buy the canned version again.
Stock Up on Squash
Winter squash varieties, such as butternut squash, mature on the vine. Once they're harvested they don't ripen further, so it's a good food to stock up on when it's fresh.
Whether you grow them in your garden or load up at the farmers' market, you don't have to rush to use your squash. All you need is a cool, dry, and dark place to store them. They will be good for two to three months.
Making butternut squash puree and freezing it will further extend the useful life of your bounty. You can do this in small or large batches.
Ingredients and Supplies
The only ingredient you need for this puree is the butternut squash itself. There are no additives and you can even start out with cubed squash. Acorn squash and any other winter squash can be preserved using these steps as well.
You will, however, need a few basic kitchen supplies. The most important is a sharp chef's knife. The thick, tough skin of winter squash takes some muscle to cut through, and a sharp chef's knife is essential to prevent slips and accidents. The good news is that you won't need to peel the squash.
A cookie sheet with a lip around the edge to contain any juices that may spill out is also required. Beyond that, you'll simply use your oven and a blender, immersion blender, or food processor. If you'd like to store the squash in the freezer, be sure to have either freezer bags or jars as well.
The most difficult part of making the puree is cutting the squash, because of its tough skin. Take your time and cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds and strings.
Place the squash on a cookie sheet with the cut side up. Roast it in the oven at 375 F until it becomes soft. This will take at least an hour but may take longer. Allow the squash to cool, until you can handle it without burning yourself.
Scoop out the flesh and run it through a blender, immersion blender, or food processor until you reach a smooth consistency. Butternut squash tends to have a high water content, so you might want to drain your puree before you use it. Wrapping it in cheesecloth and suspending it over a bowl will do the trick.
If you have a butternut squash that is already peeled and cubed, it can be roasted, too. Simply place it on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 F and roast it until the cubes are soft. Roasted squash cubes can be eaten as a side dish, tossed into soups and other recipes, or pureed.
- Butternut squash puree freezes well. Make your puree in bulk, then freeze it in one-cup servings to make it easy to add to recipes. Butternut squash puree cannot be canned safely at home, so it is always best to freeze it.
- If you're out of pumpkin puree, use your squash puree instead. It tastes the same and has the same color and texture. No one will be able to detect the difference.
- Save your seeds. Butternut squash seeds can be roasted and eaten just like pumpkin seeds.