Monday, November 9, 2020

Squash Masquerading as Pumpkin

Did you know you can substitute cooked squash for cooked pumpkin in any recipe?
Last year I grew pie pumpkins, but no winter squash.  This year I did grow winter squash and use it instead of pumpkin when a recipe calls for pumpkin.  (Confused yet?)
It seems to me that the Red Kuri squash I grow has more flavor so I prefer it.  Besides that, my individual squash are usually bigger than the two of us can consume at one meal so I process whatever pulp remains into puree to be stored in the freezer.
We had baked fish fillets, mashed potatoes with gravy and baked squash for dinner last night.  

I bake my squash by cleaning out the seeds, putting cut side down in a baking dish, pouring boiling water into the dish to about a 1" level.  The squash then goes into the oven at 350° for at least an hour.  Last night I ended up baking it about 10 minutes longer until the pulp tested (with a fork) as soft as I wanted.  It was a big squash and when cutting it in half (from top to bottom) I succeeded(?) in getting one half bigger than the other.  Oops.
After dinner I had about two/thirds of the squash left over.

I scooped out the remaining pulp, put it in a bowl and mashed the heck out of it with my potato masher.  There was a time when I would process the pulp in a blender, but found it easier (with less clean up) to simply mash it well.

Then I measure two cups worth which goes into a freezer bag.

Pressing the mixture flat not only forces the air out of the bag but makes flat, pancake-like bags that are easy to stack in the freezer.  The second bag didn't have a full two cups in it (two cups being perfect for a squash pumpkin pie) so I labeled it as such.  No matter, as many recipes, such as pumpkin bread or muffins, call for just a cup or two-thirds of a cup and I can take what I need from the puree in one of the smaller bags.
One big winter squash equals killing two birds . . . or a veggie for dinner and freezer ready puree for baking . . . with one stone!  


Michelle said...

I found two smaller, questionably ripe Red Kuris in my garden, so I cooked them up (peeled, diced and microwaved). For this winter squash lover they were just fine with a bit of salt and maple syrup!

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - Good to hear! I've baked three of ours so far and they've all been yummy.

Rosalea said...

Always, side will be bigger than the other! It is a 'Law of the Universe' I think. What a luscious colour those squash are.

Mama Pea said...

Rosalea - I have to cut through the squash using my biggest chef's knife and a hammer! I just know one of these times I'm gonna break my good knife and then you will hear me holler! ;o)

Granny Sue said...

I have used butternut in place of pumpkin, also cushaw. I have to admit, I like the pumpkin better.

Goatldi said...

I can’t wait until ext year to get some of this squash growing in my garden! I have yet to find it in any grocery near me.

I am listening to the incessant hum of the food dehydrator as I text. Sweet red Italian onions almost done.

The 29 degree morning expected Sunday didn’t show up until today. I fear I have lost my green beans , Basil and radishes. Never once either in the first or current forecast did any of the predictions include a hard freeze. I checked them all. Apparently except for kale , garlic and herbs my season is done. I will garden by common sense from now on not by meteorologists.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Sounds good sadly I have never been a pumpkin fan. I know this time of year I see pumpkin lattes, I see pumpkin cheesecakes, I see pumpkin everything and I just go meh. But you do know there's a substitute! Last night I made a ginger cake which was a nice fall dessert with some raisins, a little whipping cream on top and it was good! Ginger always makes me think of fall with cinnamon Etc

Mama Pea said...

Granny Sue - I suppose it all depends on the variety of squash used and even pumpkins differ in taste. Personally, I've always liked a good pumpkin (made with pumpkin!) pie. (Or maybe it's just the whipped cream.) ;o) And let's face it, all of our taste buds (and therefore likes and dislikes) are different!

Goatldi - Ouch! A hard frost like that with no warning is not a pleasant surprise. I'm still going to send you some of the Red Kuri seeds to try next year. It will be so interesting to see what it does for you.

Nancy - You know what Garrison Keillor says about pumpkin pie? (Paraphrasing here as best I can.) "The best pumpkin pie you've ever tasted is not that much different than the worst one." ;o) Curious you mention ginger as I've been craving a gingerbread cake lately. Mmmm, sounds so good!

Goatldi said...

Thanks MP. I will look forward to the seed share.

Kim said...

Oh my goodness, the pumpkin vs squash sisters service dog has...digestive issues. Turns out pumpkin helps to regulate, um, output. Slows it down or speeds it up as needed. (Sorta like a thermos bottle, how does it know?). It also turns out squash does not do the same thing. This quarantine wreaked havoc with canning factories, and squash and pumpkin are legally the same thing, resulting in the Great Pumpkin Search. Only Libby’s pumpkin is really 100% actual pumpkin, sot squash. I now keep a case of Libby’s pumpkin on hand to ensure future happy intestines.

Vera said...

I miss having a freezer, but then I would have to fill it with produce! But this idea of yours is a good one, and I shall file it away somewhere in my head for when we shall be able to make our own food again. Hope you are well. VX