I have been canning, freezing and drying for at least 20 years and if I can find a way to cut corners, I will. One of the ways I do this is by growing a vegetable that not only tastes great and is super nutritious but is also self-storing...that makes this veggie is a keeper!
And grow it I did, lots of them! At the end of November, I still have a large supply and they are keeping quite nicely so far, thank you very much.
What is this vegetable wonder? Winter squash of course! Yes, I know you are able to can and freeze them, but why should I when most of them will be perfectly fine on their own? And right now with the holidays upon us, there is an abundance of winter squash available for sale and it's the perfect vegetable to keep for the months to come!
|Spaghetti Squash and Delicata Squash|
If you're not eating squash now or only at Thanksgiving, now is the time to reconsider. Winter squash is a great source of the anti-oxidants, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. It also is loaded with Vitamin C (one-third of our daily allowance) and a very good amount of the antioxidant mineral manganese as well.
"While winter squash should not be treated as a high-fat food, it does contain fats, including the anti-inflammatory omega-3s. One cup of baked winter squash will provide you with approximately 340 milligrams of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)."
|Butternut Bush Variety|
1.00 cup baked (205.00 grams)
vitamin A - 214.1%
vitamin C - 32.8% fiber - 22.9%
manganese - 19% vitamin B6 - 16.5% potassium - 14.1%
tryptophan - 9.3% copper - 8.5% vitamin B - 28.2%
omega-3 fats - 7.9% magnesium - 6.6%
|Spaghetti Squash - Small Wonder Variety|
1. Make sure the fruit is bruise (no soft spots) and blemish-free.
2. The winter squash with the hardest skins will generally last the longest.
Here are the varieties and their storage times:
Pumpkins at 50% to 70% humidity and 50 to 55 degrees - 2-3 months
Acorn at 50% to 75% humidity and 50 to 55 degrees - 5-8 weeks
Butternut at 50% to 70% humidity and 50 to 55 degrees - 2-3 months
Hubbards at 50% to 75% humidity and 50 degrees - 5-6 months
Spaghetti Squash at 50% to 70% humidity and 50 to 55 degrees - 2-3 months
However, I have kept all these squash with the exception of pumpkins WAY past these dates...especially spaghetti squash which I was able to keep all the way through spring with no loss of eating quality.
AND...I keep them in my 65+ degree utility room and not outside. I do lose some but if I rotate them once in while and keep them fairly separate, they seem to do well. I just watch for fruits that are beginning to get bad spots, refrigerate and use them up right away.
I also choose small varieties (like the small Blue Hubbard pictured above) so I can cook one up fast and have about 4-6 servings depending on the variety. If I were to buy the monster sized ones, I hate to process them because it takes so long, but the small ones I can peel or cook quickly and eat them every week.
I am loving our winter squash and have been cutting them up, sauteing them and including them in soups, stews, chilis and even our spaghetti sauce. We love them and here's hoping you'll be able to store some of your own this winter...Blessings!!
What's your favorite winter squash?
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