I never used to like squash. We never had it when we were growing up. I don’t know what it was, but something happened in the last couple of decades that made me appreciate squash and now we eat it regularly.
Squash is a very nutritious food and is easy to prepare. Most of the time I just cut one in half, take out the seeds and bake it in the oven until it is soft and tender.
What I’m talking about here is winter squash as opposed to summer squash such as zucchini.
This past fall I started an informal experiment to see how the different varieties of winter squash hold up under our storage conditions. The place I keep our squash ranges in temperature from 40F to about 50F depending on the outside weather conditions.
I don’t do anything special to them. I just put them into a crate and take one out when I want one.
I have in storage eight different varieties of squash, four crates in all.
Back row L-R: Spaghetti, Blue Hokkaido. Middle row: Baby Hubbard, Butternut, Hybrid Acorn, Acorn. Front row: Kabocha, Buttercup
After going out the other day to get a squash to bake, I thought “h-m-m-m-m some people might be interested in the results up to this point”.
Now we are into the third week of February and I see that the Kabocha squash has deteriorated the most. It has areas of deep spoilage. These spots can be cut out and some of the squash can be used.
The Buttercup appeared to go down hill fairly quickly. Last month I noticed that most were starting to get a little rotten right in the “cup” of the but the rest of the squash was perfectly fine.
The Butternuts are getting shriveled and some have very soft spots.
The Acorns are firm but have some isolated bad spots that can be cut out, the rest of it is usable.
There are some surface spots on the Spaghetti Squash but they are otherwise OK.
No spoilage is evident on the Hybrid Acorn. I haven’t tried to eat one of these yet.
Neither the Baby Hubbard nor the Blue Hokkaido show much in the way of loss of quality.
One thing has to be done if you want to keep these for the winter; pick unblemished squash. Be sure they are not bruised, cut or have any other suspicious marks on them. If they do have spots on them, eat those first before spoilage sets in.
For flavor, my favorite is Buttercup. They are so flavorful that you think they already have butter and sweet spices mixed in.
So, there you go, lots of great food stored through winter with no canning or freezing. Now if anyone has any recipes….