Winter Squash Puree

One of the first signs that summer is over... the appearance of winter squash in your CSA box. At first you may feel a little sad -- the days of corn, tomatoes, zucchini are over. Its time to put away the grill and pull out the crockpot and start dreaming of all the comfort food recipes you've neglected over the summer! Well, a mainstay in your CSA box during the fall will definitely be a variety of winter squashes -- butternut, acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin, and your CSA will very likely send you some varieties you have never heard of, each with their own unique taste and texture.  It is a good idea to get comfortable with winter squash because it can be prepared in so many delicious ways!

One method I use often is roasting and pureeing the squash. So easy -- and then you have puree that can be eaten right away, refrigerated or frozen. The puree can later be used as a side dish, baking muffins/cupcakes, cookies, sweet breads or cooking soups or sauces.

butternut squash, ready for the oven
Hubbard squash after roasting for 2 hours
processing until smooth

delicious squash puree
Winter Squash Puree
1. Cut squash in half lengthwise.
2. Scoop out the seeds (rinse and pat dry to save for roasting if desired). Place squash, cut side up on an oiled baking sheet
3. If using the puree for a savory dish you may want to salt and pepper the exposed flesh, then drizzle with some olive oil and rub over the flesh.  If using for baking, you can spray with coconut oil or olive oil
4. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 1 - 1.5 hours until flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Edges will brown and carmelize if it is a sweet variety like butternut or sugar pumpkin.
5. Once squash is cooked thru, allow to cool for 10-15 mins on baking sheet and then scoop out the flesh with a large spoon directly into food processor or blender. You could also use a handheld immersion blender.
6. Process until all lumps are gone and squash is a smooth puree. 
7. Allow to cool, place in covered container in fridge for 3-4 days or transfer to freezer bags and freeze for up to 6 months. I portion my puree in 1 or 2 cup portions based on specific recipes I like to make. Make sure to label your freezer bags with type of squash, amount and date frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator or in a cool water bath.


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