If there is one thing that we quickly associate with winter then that is definitely squashes. For a very long time, the most popular type of squash was pumpkin, especially during Halloween season.
However, there is a relative newcomer that might just take over the throne— the Butternut Squash.
This type of squash has long been in the market for about half a century and is a favorite staple for winter meals. This winter squash is flavorful and packed with nutrients!
You might have seen it in populating the grocery store or in wet markets on sacks. But, did you ever wonder about what does butternut squash taste like?
Butternut Squash: What Is It?
Butternut Squash is a pear-shaped squash which has very few seeds, bright-orange flesh, and smooth cream-colored exterior.
Also known as gramma (mostly in New Zealand and Australia) or butternut pumpkin, this type of winter squash has been around for a very long time for humans to consume.
Contrary to popular belief, butternut squash is a fruit. As a matter of fact, all squash are, technically!
What Makes It Special?
So, what makes a butternut squash special?
Its nutrients, of course.
Butternut squash is a great source of Vitamin A. As a matter of fact, butternut squash has enough vitamin A in just a single serving in order to cover one’s daily needs. Other benefits that are associated with this winter squash are its contribution to weight loss and prevention of cold and cancer.
The butternut squash is a part of the Cucurbita family, known for its richness with important nutrients. Aside from the good amount of vitamin A, this winter squash also has more than half the recommended vitamin C intake and a good list of other vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and vitamin B6.
A single serving of butternut squash (around 7 ounces) contains 82 calories and only 0.007 ounces of fat. Other amazing benefits of this fruit are its high antioxidant load, helps in reducing inflammation and preventing various diseases, and boost the immune system.
Describing its Taste
And now, the real question:
What does butternut squash taste like?
Well, it has that “autumn” taste of pumpkin, but a lot sweeter. It is so sweet that most people even compare it with butterscotch, a confectionery made of butter and brown sugar. Other people see similarities with turnip and carrot. Butternut squash also has a nutty does, and in purees, it can taste a bit like sweet potatoes.
The nice thing about butternut squash is that it is not stringy, unlike those of pumpkin, making it a perfect ingredient for purees and soups.
Furthermore, its delicate taste combines really well with aromatic spices and herbs like tarragon, cinnamon, and its substitutes.
Choosing The Best Out Of The Bunch
If all this sweet-talking has caused your mouth to water and drool that you are very much ready to go to the nearest supermarket and get yourself a butternut squash for your meal, then you need to at least learn how to pick the best butternut squash, right?
Here are some few tips for you:
These tips might look naïve, however, if any of these requirements are not fulfilled, the longevity and texture of the squash can be disrupted. Moreover, some flaws like cuts and punctures allow bacteria inside the squash which can cause molds or some pests and insects might have penetrated the fruit.
Growing A Butternut Squash
Here’s the good news:
You can plant butternut squash in your backyards!
If you do not like buying fruits and vegetables in the market since you are worried about various insecticides and pesticides that might have been used in the growing process, then you can grow your own!
Here are some gardening tips for growing a butternut squash in your backyard:
When planting butternut squash, you need to wait for at least mid to late spring. The seeds will not germinate if the soil is still cold.
When planting, make sure to plants the seeds in hilled soils for better growing.
2. Add Compost
Butternut squash will need rich, well-draining soil in order to grow. If your garden soil is poor then you will need to mix a good amount of compost.
3. Inspect For Bugs
In case you live in a place where pests and insects are a constant problem, then you need to take necessary measures in order to protect your plants from infestation. There are various natural ways and methods you can try.
4. Keep The Soil Moist
Because butternut squash grows during the summer, you will need to water it every few days in order to make the soil moist enough. Also, try to avoid getting the leaves wet since it can cause powdery mildew and sunburn.
Be patient. Seeing the first fruit might be exciting but you need to wait for it to be fully ripe before you can pick them.
Press your nails to the surface to check if your butternut squash is ripe. When you are not able to make a dent in it, then it is ready for harvesting.
Peeling And Seeding
Peeling a butternut squash is quite a difficult task, thanks to its thick and tough skin. To do this, you will need a sturdy peeler or a very sharp knife in order to get rid of it.
- 1Cut off the stem end.
- 2Horizontally cut the squash in two.
- 3Peel the squash from the neck to the round base.
- 4Split it in half.
- 5Using a spoon, remove the fibrous flesh and seeds.
- 6Then cut to pieces on desired size.
All these squashy talks might leave you drooling over. I might have described how butternut squash tastes like, however, the best way to understand its taste is to get one for yourself and taste it.
If you have happens to like healthy food and have a sweet tooth then you will definitely not regret tasting this winter squash.
I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions or maybe a delicious butternut squash recipe, then feel free to share it with the rest of us!
Until then, have a squishy-squashy day!