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Tips for Cutting, Peeling and Seasoning Winter Squash

posted Jan 29, 2016, 7:17 AM by   [ updated Mar 10, 2016, 2:03 PM ]
Have you ever tried to cut into a spaghetti or butternut squash?  If you did and felt defeated, don't worry--this post was meant for you! 

Winter squash such as acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin, butternut and kabocha all have very tough outer skins and dense flesh which make them very difficult to cut through.  Winter squashes are excellent sources of fiber and beta carotene, but if you can’t cut one open, then you can’t get to all that goodness.  Try poking a few holes or slits through the skin and partway through the flesh with a sharp knife and then microwaving or roasting the squash for just a few minutes.  This should soften the squash enough to allow you to cut it in half or large slices before roasting. 

Typically, the skin is very tough and eating it may cause digestive distress, so it is recommended to not eat the skin.  Much like slicing, it is very difficult to peel a winter squash before cooking.  Once your squash halves or slices are fully cooked, simply pull the flesh away from the skin.

If you are adventurous and have a good, sharp knife, try following the steps outlined in this video

Many grocery stores also offer pre-cut squash.  It may cost a few dollars more, but it might be worth it when you are in a bind.

The sky is the limit when it comes to seasoning winter squash.  Much like our suggestions for other roasted vegetables, we recommend exploring any herbs or spices that you think will taste great.  Unlike most other vegetables, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg compliment the slight sweetness of winter squash.

See our previous post about how to roast a whole pumpkin for more detailed instructions on roasting squash and what to do with the seeds (hint: don’t throw them away!)