Newest Review: ... When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. It grows on a vine. It is rounded at the bottom and th... more
Follow the squash, follow the squash!
Member Name: belglen
Advantages: Versatile, healthy, tasty, easy to cook
Disadvantages: Looks a bit odd
Butternut squash is a vegetable I had heard of but never tried until relatively recently. It is one of those vegetables that I looked at many times in the supermarket but never put it into my trolley, there was something odd almost funny looking about it. To be honest it always looked to me like one of those "rude" vegetables that are made fun of, they resemble the gourd famous in the Life of Brian.
I originally bought Butternut Squash to use to make vegetable purees for my youngest son, about 4 months ago. I had read in articles that it would blend down very well into a puree and would make an excellent first food and indeed it did. When I bought Butternut Squash I didn't really know what to do with it but a little research and I became a dab hand at roasting it and making it into delicious purees for my young son.
Originally I cooked the Squash to use on its own. To prepare the Squash I cut it in half long ways, scoop out the numerous seeds and wrap in tin foil and then roast in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size. The Squash does have a lot of seeds, they look a bit like Pumpkin seeds, the seeds are contained in the bulbous part of the Squash, it is very easy to scoop them out, and I just use a spoon. The flesh of the Squash is a lovely bright orange colour, again not unlike Pumpkin flesh, the uncooked flesh is quite firm but not fibrous. Butternut Squash can be cooked in the oven, boiled, or cooked in the microwave, I prefer to roast it in the oven as this gives it a sweet caramelised flavour. When the Squash is cooked I spoon the flesh away from the skin, this is very easy, and it comes away very well from the cooked skin.
When I was first weaning my son I just pureed the cooked Squash to a fine lump free consistency, at first I didn't add anything else but quickly started to add other vegetables. Some of the combinations I have made for my son are Squash with carrots, or carrots and parsnips. I have also made Squash with carrots and apple, this is quite sweet but rather delicious. I have also combined it with broccoli and cauliflower, basically I use the Squash as a replacement for potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Having used the Butternut Squash as a first food for my son I have now started to extend its usage, I now use it as part of the family's main meals. I now prepare the squash by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds and then cutting the Squash into chunks, peel them and roast them. When I am using it as part of the family meal I drizzle some olive oil over the Squash before roasting it in the oven. Generally I use Squash as a replacement for potatoes but I have also added it to soups and stews and it is delicious. I find that the Butternut Squash has quite a nutty, sweet flavour and tastes really good with just a little pepper ground over the top. I am sure as I use this vegetable more often I will become more adventurous in how I use it.
I find Butternut Squash are usually well priced and are readily available in most supermarkets, vegetable stores, the last Squash I bought cost me £1.09 in Asda.
I would definitely recommend Butternut Squash to anyone, it is great as a first food for babies but is also very versatile as a staple vegetable.
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Summary: A very tasty, easy to cook vegetable.