However, if you are going to make some delicious fall recipes, then It’s important to first learn how to cut and peel your butternut squash the right way, the best way to make your job easier.
Let’s be honest, peeling and cutting butternut squash is a real pain! I mean if you’ve ever tried to do it before you’ve most likely done it with great frustration due to how hard the exterior of the squash is. I know I’m lucky to still have all my fingers attached.
We will show you how to peel it, cut it and take out the seeds so you can eat delicious butternut squash anytime that you want to.
Since it was so hard, I always used to buy the squash already peeled and cut up so the first time I did this I was overwhelmed with what to do. So I’m hoping that this will help you to make it easier.
What makes Butternut Squash so good?
I personally, being a fussy eater, never really liked butternut squash. But I have come to like it because I learned how to make some good recipes from Stephanie, who has tried her hand at making some yummy recipes in the past that many of our friends and family have loved. So now she takes her former recipes and converts them into Low Carb Butternut Squash Recipes.
Go figure, I have come to realize how good Butternut Squash is. It is sweet and creamy when it’s cooked the right way. There are so many things you can do with it. I have enjoyed making things with it and also eating it, especially her yummy Butternut Squash Casserole!!
Pumpkin was another food I never really cared for. As with a lot of food, if they are not prepared well then they don’t taste as good. However, I learned that if you make things with the right ingredients or the right way, almost anything becomes tastier and now I like Pumpkin too.
What do You Need to Cut and Peel a Butternut Squash?
There are only a couple of things that you need to cut and peel your Butternut Squash. Yes, you guessed it…you need a large sharp knife and a good peeler.
The most important thing to make sure of is that you make your cutting surface as stable as possible to keep your squash from rolling around. You don’t want to cut yourself. A sturdy cutting board may be helpful in making your squash steady to cut.
If you have a rubber mallet it may help to gently push the knife through the hard spots.
How to Pick Out a Good Butternut Squash? Shopping for One:
There are a few ways to pick out a good Butternut Squash on your next visit to the supermarket, market or local farm.
Color – The darker the shade of beige that the squash has, the better it is. It’s going to be much tastier than a light one. If it’s too light in color then it’s going to be much blander.
Skin Condition – Look for a squash that doesn’t have cuts or scrapes and that is all beige. The cuts and scrapes are flaws in the skin and your squash won’t last as long, which could play a factor depending on when you plan on using it.
Finish – Get a squash that has a more matte finish rather than a shiny one. When it’s shiny it’s a sign that the squash is starting to go bad. Also the longer the stem the better the squash. When the stem has been cut off the lifespan is shorter. Usually when there is no stem the flesh starts to get shiny.
Weight – Try to get a heavy squash, one that is heavier for its size than lighter for its size. If it’s heavier it means that there is more flesh to the squash. If it’s lighter, then it usually has more seeds, and it should sound hollow inside when you tap it.
Is Butternut Squash Good for You?
Even though Butternut Squash isn’t as low in carbs as some of your green vegetables which are staples in a low carb diet, it has a lot of vitamins that you would benefit you and that you would be missing out on if you didn’t incorporate it into your diet.
The benefits of eating Butternut Squash is that it’s loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium and has no cholesterol. It’s also very high in water, about 87% which helps you stay hydrated. Butternut Squash is also food for your immunity and good for your eyes.
How to Prep, Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash – Step by Step
So now that you have picked the right Butternut Squash, it’s time to prepare it. So depending on what recipe you are making will determine which way you are going to prep your squash.
Do you Have to Peel Butternut Squash Before Cooking it?
If you are roasting your Butternut Squash and then scooping it out afterward, then you do not need to peel it ahead of time. Just cut it the way you want and leave the skin on no problem.
But yes, you need to peel it first if you are making other things that require you to cut it up before cooking it. For example, if you are making Butternut Squash Soup then you need to peel your squash.
The Secret to Peeling Butternut Squash
Peeling your Butternut Squash is not the easiest job but it’s not too difficult either if you know THE SECRET…
There is an amazing trick that will make peeling your Butternut Squash a lot easier!! You can follow this advice no matter which way you plan on cooking your squash.
Just stick your hard squash in the microwave first to soften the skin before you peel it. It only takes a few minutes in the microwave so you don’t have to worry about cutting your finger off while cutting into such a hard exterior skin.
The First thing to do is to prick the skin all over with a fork or small knife.
Second, cut off both ends of your squash.
The Third Step is to put your squash in the microwave for about 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the temperature of your microwave which may make a slight difference in how long to keep it in. Also how large your squash is may alter the timing too.
The Forth and final step is to let your squash cool enough to be able to handle it without burning yourself and peel the skin away.
The skin will come off easily, so just keep peeling the whole thing till it’s all off. Make sure you peel away the green lines underneath until it’s a solid yellow/orange color.
Now you will be able to easily cut and cook your Butternut Squash any way that you will please. The only time that putting butternut squash in the microwave is not necessary is if you are roasting it in the oven. In that case, leave it on.
How to Cut Butternut Squash – 2 Ways
Now that your butternut squash is peeled, it’s time to cut it. Here you have a couple of options, you can cut it half or into cubes.
Cutting Butternut Squash in Half
The first way to cut your Butternut Squash is to just cut it in half. This is good for roasting it and scooping out the squash later.
By this time you’ve probably peeled the butternut squash, and cut off the top and bottom. Next, stand it on the flat end and slice it down the middle lengthwise.
The squash will completely open up and you’ll find a small section near the bottom where the seeds are located. I was surprised the first time I opened one to see that the seeds are not throughout the whole inside but are all concentrated at one end.
Next you need to scoop out the seeds. Grab a medium to large spoon and scoop out all the seeds and membrane inside the squash.
Once it’s totally clean, you now you have two big pieces to cook.
How to Cut a Butternut Squash in Cubes
At this point if you want to roast the squash whole you can go ahead and do that. However you can also cut them into cubes which will be good in many other recipes.
After you have cut your squash in half lengthwise, cut your squash in half again into flour large pieces.
Then take each section of squash and slice them into long strips, as thick as you want your cubes to be:
Next, slice your strips across into cubes. A few of the end pieces will have the shape of triangles but that will be ok. Blend them in with your cubes.
How to Cook Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash is a very versatile vegetable. There are several ways to prepare it.
You can roast it whole in one piece and after cooking it you can scoop it out of the shell and eat it as is with some butter which will not add any carbs to your meal. Butter is carb-free. Cook it on 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove and slice.
You can also cut it into cubes and roast it, which is great for making Butternut Squash Soup and a bunch of other recipes like it.
If you don’t want to turn your oven on and heat up your kitchen, especially in the warmer weather, you can cut it up and saute it on the stove in a little olive oil and serve it with butter, salt and pepper
You can also cook it in the crockpot with some onions or garlic while you are at work all day. What you do is put it whole without any water and it cooks to perfection in 4 hours on high and 8 hours on low. The heat from the crock pot will steam the squash to perfection. Now scoop out the seeds.
When you take it out to eat it be careful you don’t burn yourself because it will be hot.
What can You Make with Butternut Squash?
2 great recipes come to mind. One is Butternut Squash Soup and the other is Butternut Squash Casserole. Both of them are amazing and perfect low carb dishes for the Autumn.
Butternut squash is also great just as a side dish, sautéed and served with butter, salt, and pepper.
Is it Good for Weight Loss?
Yes eating Butternut Squash is definitely good to aid in weight loss. Even though it has more carbs than a lot of other vegetables, it is high in a lot of vitamins that help aid weight loss. Plus it is low in calories. Eating it is so much better for you than eating pasta or bread…etc. So if you swap squash for some of these other foods you will end up with fewer calories and more nutrition.
Is Butternut Squash a Bad Carb? Keto-Friendly?
Butternut Squash is not a bad carb. Bad carbs are things such as pasta, rice, potatoes, bread…etc
Butternut Squash may not be as low in carbs as some vegetables are but it can be Keto Friendly. It all depends on your carb tolerance and your activity level. It also depends on what you eat along with it or what else you eat during the day. It may be one of those vegetables that you can tolerate once in a while but not every day like lettuce or cucumbers.
Moderation is the key. Don’t eat half of a squash.
You could add your Butternut Squash to a one-pot meal that has fat and protein which would balance out the carbs in the squash. For instance add it to your meals with beef and low carb vegetables for a great addition!
How Long Does a Butternut Squash Last?
If you have a whole, uncut Butternut Squash, then find a cool dark place in your house and it will last anywhere from 1-3 months, depending on how ripe it was when you bought it. This is especially helpful for people that have a garden and have an abundance of extra squash. Store them this way and you will be able to enjoy your harvest.
How to Store Cut Butternut Squash?
If you have uncooked cut up squash you can put it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 4 or 5 days. If you think that you are not going to use your squash that soon, then you can always freeze it.
To freeze it, put your diced squash, spread out, on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a single layer. Freeze for 3-4 hours. Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and take your squash off and place it in a freezer bag or plastic container and freeze for as long as 3 months.
This is a great way to be able to enjoy the surplus from your garden. Nice fresh Butternut Squash that you grew and picked in the Summer/Autumn and first of all store it in a cool dark place for 1-3 months, then if you haven’t used it all up, then utilize the freezer trick and enjoy your harvest in the winter months too.
Other Tips to Cut, Peel and Prepare Butternut Squash
By learning how to peel and cut your Butternut Squash, it’s going to save you a lot of money that you can spend on other ingredients. For example, to make Butternut Squash Soup I used to buy the squash all peeled and cut up. It would cost me about $20 for the squash. Now that we learned how to peel and cut our own squash it cost about $5. That’s a big saving!
This guide is to help you to be able to peel, slice, cut your Butternut Squash the right way and the easy way so you can make some delicious and healthy recipes anytime you want to.
First thing is to pierce the skin all over with a fork or knife and then Cut off the ends with your sharp knife.
Microwave your squash for 2-4 minutes, depending on the temperature of your microwave.
Once your squash is cool enough to handle, peel it and the skin will come right off with ease.
Next is the cutting process. If you are cutting it in half for roasting, Get your knife and cut your squash in half, lengthwise from top to bottom.
If cutting the butternut squash into cubes, start by cutting it into rings as thick as you want your cubes to be. If you want your cubes to be 1 inch then cut your rings 1 inch thick. Slice your rings into cubes.
Other important things to keep in mind about these instructions…
Anytime you are taking your squash out of the oven or crock pot or microwave be careful not to burn yourself.
Make sure to use a good sharpknife and stabilize your squash so you do not cut yourself
Learn how to do this and you will save yourself a lot of money instead of buying it already precut.