Winter squash includes the following vegetables: Acorn, Amber Cup, Autumn Cup, Banana, Butternut, Buttercup, Carnival, Delicata (Peanut), Fairytale Pumpkin, gold Nugget, Hubbard, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Sweet dumpling, and Turban squashes.
Choose squashes that are heavy for their size with hard, thick shells. Avoid those with any signs of decay, soft spots or cuts in the shells.
Butternut squash benefits from a curing which is simply holding the squash at room temperature about 70°F (21.1°C) for 10 to 20 days.
After curing, transfer to a cool 45 to 50 (7.2 to 10°C) dry place such as the basement or garage for long term storage. Since the butternut has a thinner skin than most winter squashes, it won't store as long as other varieties. The butternut squash will only last about 1 instead of 3 to 6 months.
Refrigerate cut squash pieces in an airtight plastic container for up to 5 days. Cooked squash should be stored in the refrigerator and then used within a week.
To freeze winter squash, wash and cut into small pieces, remove seeds and peel. Cook until soft, then mash pulp or put through a sieve. Once cooled, place in an airtight freezer container with ½ inch of head space and freeze at 0°F (-17.8°C); winter squash will keep for 1 year.
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