About Butternut Squash

August 16, 2011

About Butternut Squash

This familiar winter squash, Cucurbita moschata, is recognizable by its beige skin and curvy bell shape. Inside it has sweet orange flesh similar in color and flavor to pumpkin. It is actually called Butternut “pumpkin” in Australia and New Zealand. It gets sweeter and more orange as it ripens.

Like other winter squashes, butternut squash is harvested at the end of summer, when it reaches maturity. It can be then be stored in a cool place, which makes the skin harden and helps “keep” it longer. Because of this, winter squash must be cooked longer than summer squash, which tend to have soft skins, as they are harvested earlier.

Not a very stringy squash, it is a popular squash for making smooth soups. It may also be roasted, pureed, or mashed for side dishes, as well as baked into pies and muffins. It provides a good source of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, as well as magnesium and potassium.

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