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Butternut squash is a variety of Winter squash whose history goes back to 5500B.C. Some historians believe that peoples of the land that is now Mexico were cooking with and eating butternut squash. It is grown on a vine and is best harvested when the fruit is mature. This takes around three months. When the butternut squash is ready for picking, it will be around 2 to 3 pounds and 8 and 12 inches long. When the fruit is mature, it has a thick rind, a bright, orange flesh and nutty, sweet taste.
Chopped butternut squash
In order to chop butternut squash, peel and discard the outer rind/ skin. Place on a chopping board and cut into halves lengthwise. Slice each halves at regular intervals lengthwise and then slice again breadth wise. You can chop finely or coarsely as per recipe requirement. Chopped butternut squash can be used to cook and puree into soups or for making vegetable accompaniments.
How to select
Ensure that the rind is smooth, free from cuts and blemishes. It should be firm and not soft to touch.
· Butternut squash can be pureed or mashed and used in soups, casseroles, breads, and muffins.
· The squash can be pulped and used in baked pies, pancakes etc.
· In many places, it is regarded as a pumpkin and thus can be used in recipes which call for pumpkin.
· The hard exterior can be utilized as a serving dish. Many chefs cut the butternut squash in half, stuff with spicy fillings and then bake. Serve in the same shell.
· Combine with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, wrap in foil and barbecue or bake.
· The seeds of butternut squash can be consumed raw or roasted.
How to store
Butternut squash has a very thick skin and thus, a long shelf life. Keep away from direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for storing butternut squash is between 10-15°C. Thus, store under refrigerated conditions. Once cut, cover in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator, where they will keep well for one or two days.
· Butternut squash is a good source of dietary fiber. Thus, it is recommended for people with high cholesterol levels.
· The flesh is also a source of many important vitamins and minerals. It contains Vitamin C and A, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
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