The sweet, nutty taste of butternut squash makes it a favorite of the winter squash variety. This sweet squash contains no saturated fats, is rich in dietary fiber and is packed with nutrients. Its seeds are are baked and used as snack food, similar to pumpkin seeds. Look for a squash that has a “woody” sound when tapped and is heavy to hold. It can be roasted, toasted, steamed, baked or pureed. Cutting a butternut squash is often a challenge because of its solid structure. A few simple actions when preparing your butternut squash take the difficulty out of cutting and peeling.
Things You'll Need
Rinse the squash surface to avoid transferring dirt or debris to the inside of the squash when cutting it. Dry the squash with a paper towel.
Cut the top of the squash off at the base of the stem using a sharp knife. Slice the bottom of the squash off about 1/2 inch up from the base.
Cut the squash in half horizontally, dividing the neck of the squash from the rounded base.
Stand one end of the neck on a flat cutting surface and pare away all the skin using strokes that slice down, while moving around the neck. Leave as much squash flesh as possible.
Lay the peeled squash neck on its side on the cutting board. Cut horizontally through neck every 1/2 inch, creating round slices of even thickness. Set the slices aside.
Put the base, or bulb, section of the squash on the flat cutting surface and remove the skin, working down and around the bulb, using the same technique as in Step Four.
Cut the bulb in half vertically, exposing the seeds. In each half, loosen the fibrous pulp containing the seeds with fork tines. Remove the seeds and the squash fiber from the center of each half by scraping the area with a metal spoon.
Turn over the two halves of the squash base so that the scraped area faces down against the cutting surface. Cut horizontally across each bulb half every 1/2 inch creating slices of even thickness.
Combine the neck and base slices and prepare as desired.
A vegetable peeler is an alternative peeling tool to the knife, if the squash skin is not too thick.
Use a craft or utility knife to score the squash skin before cutting if the skin is exceptionally tough. The knife should cut through the scoring easily.
Like pumpkins, the squash flowers can be stuffed with cheese. The squash flesh is excellent used in many preparations including casseroles, pies, pancakes, ravioli, bread and muffins.
A ripe butternut squash can be stored for weeks in a cool, well-ventilated place. Once cut, the slices keep for several days when placed in the refrigerator.
References and ResourcesSimply Recipes; How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash
Cook Think; How to Peel and Seed a Butternut Squash
Food; Kitchen Dictionary; Butternut Squash