What is Butternut Squash?
Though this is a post about how to peel and cut butternut squash, let’s first understand what a butternut squash is. Deal? Butternut squash is a kind of winter squash; it is also known as autumn squash. Butternut squash has a hard tan exterior and a yellowish orange inside. It turns deep orange as it ripens. A butternut squash has a sweet, nutty taste. This vegetable is similar to pumpkin both in color and taste.
Butternut squash grows in several countries and also has different names. In New Zealand and Australia, butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin or gramma! Butternut squash is rich in fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. Butternut squash is botanically a berry. I know I’m not the only one who refers to it as a Vegetable. LOL.
Now, the big question: can you eat the skin of the butternut squash? Yes, you can eat the skin if it is soft or roasted. However, I have never had the skin before. In the same way, you can eat the seeds!
When is Butternut Squash in Season?
Squashes, including butternut squash, aka autumn squash, are generally in season during the fall and winter. This means I get to enjoy my super cozy autumn squash soup, aka butternut squash soup! Also, I get to peel and cut butternut squash whenever I make roasted maple butternut squash cubes, butternut squash biscuits and other butternut squash inspired recipes! Though, you can always buy peeled and chopped/cut butternut squash from the grocery store. Check your nearest Trader Joe’s. I prefer to purchase fresh butternut squash to peel, cut, and use as I like.
Aside from making soups with abundant butternut squash during the fall and winter seasons, I also like roasted maple butternut squash cubes in the air fryer! They make great snacks and sides, or even better still, add them to bowls and casseroles. YUM!!!
How Do You Pick A Ripe Butternut Squash?
- It is rich tan or dark beige on the outside, with no green patches.
- The butternut should be firm and soft/tender. Press it to access the squash. It is in excellent condition!
- Do not select a squash that has several cuts or brown spots.
- Choose a butternut squash with a stem on top of its head.
- It should be matte and not glossy.
- The inside should be orange.
- Touch and lift it, and ensure it feels heavy.
What to Know Before Peeling and Cutting a Butternut Squash
- A sharp chef’s knife makes a difference.
- You will need a sturdy chopping board.
- It can get slippery to handle when you start peeling your butternut squash.
- Use a Vegetable peeler; it helps you to get around uneven areas.
- Your hands may be sticky from cutting this vegetable, so wash your hands immediately after peeling it. Alternatively, wear gloves whenever you peel or cut a butternut squash. I, personally, prefer not to wear gloves.
What is the best tool to cut butternut squash?
The best tool to cut butternut squash is a chef’s knife and a vegetable peeler. I always use both when I peel, cut, or chop butternut squashes. Additionally to a chef’s knife and a Vegetable peeler, you will need a sturdy cutting board to place your butternut squash. Tools for Peeling and Cutting a Butternut squash: a chef knife, a vegetable peeler and a cutting board.
Do you peel butternut squash before cutting?
Yes, Ideally, you should peel a butternut squash before cutting it. After peeling your butternut squash, remove the seeds using a sturdy spoon, and then you can use a sharp chef’s knife to cut them as you want.
If you proceed to cut up your butternut squash into pieces without peeling, it then becomes a tedious job to peel. The only time you should be cutting the butternut squash without peeling is if you wish to use it with the skin.
How do you make butternut squash easier to peel and cut?
You ask, how do you soften butternut squash for easier cutting? The trick to making butternut squash easier to peel and cut is to place it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. When you microwave butternut squash, it becomes easier to peel and cut. The skin would soften a bit, and peeling and cutting it would become a breeze.
One thing to do before you put it in the microwave to soften is to use a fork and punch tiny holes in your butternut squash.
How To Peel and Cut Butternut Squash 2 Different Ways:
WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL OF THE FIRST METHOD:
First Method: Easily Peel an Entire Butternut Squash
- Wash/clean before peeling
Wash and dry your butternut squash with paper towels. Ensure it’s clean and dry before peeling.
- Place on a Cutting board
Place the butternut squash on the cutting board and hold on to the stem on the top of the head. This secures it so you can easily peel it.
Then, gently start peeling the butternut squash from the top to the bottom. Continue until you peel the entire butternut squash.
- Cut off the ends
Then, place it sturdily on the cutting board and slice off the head using your strong chef’s knife. Place it head down and then slice vertically from the bottom to the head, dividing the butternut into half. Gently use your knife to peel off the bottom.
- Remove the Seeds
Use a strong spoon to scoop off the seeds; repeat on the other half.
- Cut as desired
Place the butternut squash flat face down; use your knife to slice vertically. Then, cut horizontally according to your desire! See video below
Another Way of Peeling/Cutting Butternut Squash
- Place butternut on a sturdy cutting, using a strong chef’s knife, cut off about 1 inch from the head and 2-3 inches off the bottom. This measurement may vary depending on the length/size of your butternut squash. The goal is to cut off the uneven, awkward, round bottom, and you will have a smooth butternut squash log.
- Place the “squash log” or that middle part on your sturdy cutting board or flat surface, and using a knife, start peeling/slicing off the skin vertically. Rotate as you peel until every skin is off. Then, cut in cubes as desired.
- This method applies when using some part of the butternut squash. Or when you want to avoid peeling the bottom, which is honestly awkwardly looking.
- For this method, you will only need to use the middle part of the butternut squash.
- If you are a new cook or you are not confident peeling things with a very hard/tough exterior, I recommend this method. For this method, we shall only need the middle part of the butternut squash.
WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL OF THE SECOND METHOD:
How to Store Butternut Squash:
You can store whole butternut squash in a clean, dry, cool, dark area. Maybe in some areas around your kitchen. I do keep mine in the kitchen area. Surprisingly, fresh butternut squash can last 1 – 3 months if stored in excellent condition in your home.
Peeled, cut, or chopped/diced butternut squash can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. However, if you store them in the freezer, then they can last up to 3 months.
The best place for storing cooked butternut squash soup is in the freezer. I would typically allow the soup to completely cool, then place them in single-serving individual freezer-friendly containers. For roasted butternut squash, I suggest storing it in the refrigerator for not more than three days.
How to Cook with Butternut Squash:
- Use them in soups! Make autumn squash soup, aka butternut squash soup.
- Roasted butternut squash is a great choice for snacks and sides!
- Baked or roasted whole butternut squash: Simply divide butternut vertically into half, remove seeds, season with salt, black pepper, and olive, and then roast it face open in the oven. Enjoy!
- Butternut Hash: add some diced squash, potatoes, and sausages, cooked as hash! Enjoy as breakfast or brunch!
- Butternut squash mac and cheese is very popular these days. All you do is boil/bake and purée some butternut, then add with your sauce to make the best butternut mac and cheese or any pasta.
- Butternut squash curry is equally a huge hit! You can serve it with rice or quinoa.
- Add to bowls and casseroles.
- Make butternut squash purée!
What determines HOW you Cut Butternut Squash?
Usage will determine how you wish to peel and cut your butternut squash. For instance, if you want fleshy roasted butternut squash to mash or purée and add to soup, you may not need to peel it. You only need to slice off the top and bottom, divide it vertically, remove seeds, season with salt, black pepper, and olive, and then roast it face open in the oven. Ta-da, you are done!
If you want to make roasted butternut squash cubes, you will need to peel and cut them into cubes.
Butternut Squash Recipes to Try:Now, the big question: can you eat the skin of the butternut squash? Yes, you can eat the skin if it is soft or roasted. Click To Tweet
HOW TO PEEL AND CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH:Print
Butternut squash is a kind of winter squash; it is also known as autumn squash. Butternut squash has a hard tan exterior and a yellowish orange inside. It turns deep orange as it ripens. A butternut squash has a sweet, nutty taste. This vegetable is similar to pumpkin both in color and taste. Learn how to peel and cut butternut squash!
- Butternut squash
- Wash and dry your butternut squash with paper towels. Ensure it’s clean and dry before peeling.
- Place the butternut squash on the cutting board and hold on to the stem on the top of the head. This secures it so you can easily peel it.
- Then, gently start peeling the butternut squash from the top to the bottom. Continue until you peel the entire butternut squash.
- Then, place it sturdily on the cutting board and slice off the head using your strong chef’s knife. Place it head down and then slice vertically from the bottom to the head, dividing the butternut into half. Gently use your knife to peel off the bottom.
- Use a strong spoon to scoop off the seeds; repeat on the other half.
- Place the butternut squash flat face down; use your knife to slice vertically. Then, cut horizontally according to your desire! See the video below:
Please see entire post for another way to peel and cut butternut squash!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: How to
- Method: Peeling and cutting
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Squash, Butternut squash, autumn squash, How to, Cut Butternut squash, Fresh Butternut,
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