I used to hate squash. Really, I did. The only types of “squash” I knew were yellow squash or zucchini and I found them to be pretty blah tasting. So, I generally avoided those vegetables at restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets. But, when Eliana came along and was ready for solid foods, I was in a tricky situation. I wanted to prepare homemade baby food and use mostly seasonal and locally grown vegetables, but during winter time in the northeast, what was available at the farmers markets? A bounty of winter squash. The least scary looking to me was butternut squash. So, I bought one, took it home and figured out what to do with it. Almost 3 years later, butternut squash has become one of my favorite vegetables. My favorite way to cook it is to roast it and then use it in a variety of recipes including baby food. Stay tuned because a new recipe with butternut squash will be shared for the upcoming Monday Meal.
Here are a couple of tips:
1. You should wash your squash before preparing it. If you buy it at a grocery store, you can run it under warm water while giving it a scrub with a vegetable brush or kitchen towel. If you get it from a farmers market, you should use soap to help you loosen any caked-on dirt while scrubbing it with a vegetable brush or kitchen towel. Pat the squash dry before preparing it.
2. If you don’t have a trusty technique to use, chopping up a butternut squash can be kind of daunting. Below is the method that works best for me. Hope it works for you, too!
3. If you’re going to purée the squash, do this while it is still hot.
How To Roast a Butternut Squash
- -1 butternut squash
- -2-3 teaspoons olive oil
- -1-2 sprinkles of salt and pepper (optional)
- –Large sharp knife such as a chef’s knife
- –Sturdy Cutting board
- –Vegetable brush
- –Rimmed baking sheet
- -Parchment paper or aluminum foil
Heat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Place the squash in the center of your cutting board laying flat so you can cut it into half lengthwise.
Hold on to the “neck” of the squash while you cut it into half at the base of the bulb.
Chop each half into half lengthwise and scoop out the “guts” and seeds.
Smear olive oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle with salt, if desired.
Roast for 40-50 minutes or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool to the touch before adding it to a recipe or storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.