Freeze raw or cooked squash:

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Assistant Cook
Apr 11, 2006
Wingham, Ontario
I came upon many butternut squash plants that are currently in a box in my garage.

Shall I cut them up into small pieces and freeze them raw in plastic bags or should I cook, mash and then freeze them in plastic bags?
Hard winter squashes are easily kept for long periods in a cool dry place such as your basement (cellar).

Back when refrigeration was sketchy, early North Americans would keep hard winter squashes, potatoes and onions, etc. through most of the winter. I've done the same thing to a lesser degree and had butternut squash for several months before I cooked and ate it.
I was going to say the same thing as Andy. Squash will keep for a very long time. My mother buy a whole bunch of them. She lives in an apartment. With glassed enclosed balcony. she keeps them on that balcony. When it gets too cold here in MN, she covers them with some blanket.
My only suggestion with keeping the winter squash for long periods of time, is check them periodically. Ive had a few go bad on me, without knowing. And when I finally went to pick it up, the bottom part of the squash, along with its seeds and innards were left behind. Now I check them periodically and if they show any signs of softening , rot marks ... I salvage what I can ( if anything ) and out to the chicken they go. Doesn't happen often, but could happen. Ive had some squash last close to a year with no issues.
As Larry said, they can be stored, but check them often. Not all butternuts store well - last season - South Anna - and within 3 months all of them had developed bad spots, so I had to quickly cut them up, before they spread. Yet, they were the largest variety I have grown - usually larger ones store longest. One thing I do with all of my winter squash is to seal the stem with a little shellac - a natural substance that slows the moisture from escaping through the stem.

I actually have several squash still in my basement from 2020. I'll probably dehydrate these, and grind them into flour - another thing to do with squash, and it can be substituted for pumpkin, with some water added.

Don't forget about the seeds - a good substitute for pumpkin seeds.

Butternut is my very favourite squash and I like to cube it inti bite size pieces and roast it with some herbs, a little pepper or chili or cumin for instance. I then freeze leftovers in a plastic box to be brought out, de-frosted and microwaved for another meal. It makes fantastic soup of course to freeze. I like pieces so I can also add to a veggie curry or a risotto,
If I was freezing from fresh, I would still cube, and open freeze, then bag up but would use it within a few weeks before the flavour deteriorates.
If you mash it, it reduces your choices, that's all.
A farmer here, was selling squash (different kinds including butternut which I love) for $20 for a 50 lb bushel bag. Ours weighed more so we have 126 lbs of it in the basement I'm keeping my eyes on.

I just bake them whole, let them cool, cut them open, scoop out the seeds, then pull or slice off the peel, put the flesh in containers and freeze.

I've done 5 acorn type yesterday, then scooped out the flesh with a cookie portioner, baked until starting to brown, we eat those.
Day before I baked 2 butternut type, large, froze the flesh.
Plan is to bake 6 butternut at once, same procedure, but put the flesh in chunks on parchment on 9 trays in the dehydrator. I can fit 2 butternut squash cubes on 3 trays, as I've done this before.

I'm going to keep working on more dehydrating for us, because freezer space is at a premium paying for electric. I use squash in soups and stews, for crustless 'illegal pumpkin' pie, and like sweet potatoes during the holidays.

I already have canned squash (use raw peeled chunks) on the pantry shelves. That's another option if you can.
blissful Do you think the squash tastes better roasted, then dehydrating the cooked flesh? I just dehydrate chunks of raw squash, but roasting might make it easier, and if it tastes better, I might try it. I don't mind firing up the ovens at this time of the year, though earlier on, I'd do it on my grill.

I've also tried to increase my dehydration in recent years, since it can be stored pretty much indefinitely, when done properly, and there is only so much freezer space!

Funny thing - I just harvested my last butternut of the season this morning. Left it as long as possible, and not quite totally ripe, but enough.
Last butternut of the season, 11-4 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Pepper- I'm coming from this direction. When I say roasted, I mean in the oven at 350 deg F for more than an hour, which is cooked. So I couldn't tell you the difference.

When I dehydrated carrots for instance, raw, they take a long time to rehydrate so now I would cook instead. (long to rehydrate the powdered dehydrated carrots) The next time I do carrots, I'll cook them first.

I see squash as similar, in that when it is raw it is a lot more chewing. I'm afraid if I don't cook or roast the squash, it might take a long time to rehydrate. I like most of my canned/dehydrated/frozen foods, to be ready to eat or at least very quickly. That is why I do it that way. :) It's just more practical for me this way.

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