Enjoying Last Year's Bounty

or, What to Do With All this Squash?

Squash Pile.jpg

Saving and Savoring  Last Year's Goodness

Processing and Recipes, never buy canned again

2017 was a great year for keeper squash. My Boston Marrow, Butternut, Greek Sweet Red and Stella Blue all produced copius amounts of food. One-third of one bed produced 200 lbs for me. I visited a friend recently and found a wheelbarrow full of butternut squashes in his garage. A good problem to have, but what to do with it all? 

Keeper squash, aka winter squash, are planted in spring, but are harvested in fall and keep well for months if stored in cool, dry conditions. My garage became the haphazard root cellar, and we enjoyed squash all winter. Now that it's spring planting season again, I'm feeling the need to process what's left and move on to summer veggies. 

My solution is simple. Bake it, puree it, and freeze it. 

Winter Squash Bake.jpg

Simple Baked, Pureed Squash

• Cut the stem and blossom end off of your squash
• Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and fiber*
• If your squash is large, cut into manageable pieces
• Place the pieces on a baking tray, pour 1/4 cup of water into the tray
• Bake at 350° until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool.
• Scrape the flesh from the skin, place in a food processor, and process until smooth.
• Fill your jars with the puree, and freeze.

*If you've got large, plump seeds like Boston Marrow, you can rinse them, pat dry, and roast them with olive oil and salt until crisp. Delicious snack!

Winter Squash Puree Jar.jpg

I use the puree for creamy smooth squash soup, add it to smoothies (it makes them thick and delicious), and my favorite--Buckwheat Pumpkin Pancakes. Recipe below. 

Buckwheat Pumpkin Pancakes

1 Cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbls brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 Cup (approx.) lowfat buttermilk (or 1 Cup young coconut milk...yum!)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 Cup pureed keeper squash

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk or coconut milk, vanilla and eggs together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the pureed squash. If the mix is too thick and pasty, add a bit more buttermilk. The batter should be just thin enough to level itself out on the griddle, but not run or spread thin. 

Ladle a portion of batter onto a buttered or greased skillet over medium heat. When the top begins to bubble and the bottom is golden, turn the pancake and cook until the bottom is golden. 

Enjoy your tender, moist, fluffy, healthy, hearty pancakes.