Yesterday, when I shared the $350 budget update, I told you we were blessed with several large pumpkins and one enormous squash. You can see it all in the picture below. The squash is sitting between the pumpkins, lettuce, and tomatoes.
The pumpkins are currently hanging out, looking cool, on our front porch. I plan to leave them there until after National Candy Collection Day. The squash, though? That guy was roasted in the oven and pureed on Monday. When everything was done, I had five quarts of pureed squash to deal with. I do not know about your circumstances, but that is a lot of squash for our little family to eat up in a short amount of time.
So, I got creative. Below are the five ways I was able to successfully address five quarts of squash in four days:
1. Squash bread
This was, by far, the biggest hit in our household in regards to eating squash. In my book, winter squash is synonymous with pumpkin. Both vegetables are from the same family, right? If a recipe says pumpkin, I take great liberties and substitute squash at will. No one ever seems to know the difference. I made two loaves of bread. Here is the recipe I created:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. baking soda
- 1/8 t. allspice
- 1/8 t. ginger
- 1/8 t. ground cloves
- 1 cup squash, pureed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup flour, the brown sugar, baking powder, spices, salt, and baking soda.
- Add squash, milk, eggs, and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat on medium to high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour; beat until blended.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 60 to 65 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
2. Squash soup
I was lazy with this one and resorted to copying the recipe step-by-step out of my Betty Crocker cookbook. The results were okay, but not great. Next time we have squash (or pumpkin) soup, I plan to peruse the internet for something with four or five stars from a site like allrecipes.com. One possibility I found was this one for Pumpkin Soup.
Regardless of our own mediocre experience, soup is a good way to use up squash and pumpkin, especially if you have a yummy bread option like this one to pair with it for dipping. We had one meal of soup as a family, plus Todd had leftovers in his lunches at work all week.
3. Frozen squash
Squash and pumpkin puree freezes really well. I portion out my puree into individual freezer bags with one cup in each. I froze six cups of puree from this squash.
Sometimes during the thawing process, the water will separate, so I make sure to place the bag in a bowl or on a plate to reduce the chances of a leaky mess. When the squash or pumpkin is done thawing, I often do one of two things with the separated liquid. Typically, I stir it back in with the rest of the puree. But if I want my puree to have a thicker consistency, I will instead pour the water off into a container. That liquid can be used later as a more nutrient-rich substitute for water in other baking and cooking projects.
4. Squash baked oatmeal
Our family has continued experimenting with baked oatmeal recipes from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. In addition to the adaptation I created from Lynn’s Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal, we have also made her Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal. Our family added a cup of chocolate chips to the peanut butter mixture before baking. It was yummy!
This week, we tried Lynn’s Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal, substituting squash for the pumpkin. While pumpkin-flavored oatmeal cannot hold a candle to the cinnamon roll or peanut butter chocolate chip varieties, it was still good, and definitely a winner for fall eating.
5. Hide squash in something unusual
When I finished baking, freezing, and cooking the squash, I was faced with one lonely little container that held about 3/4 cup of puree. I refused to throw it out, but it was not enough squash to use in something specific. Plus, I had already washed all my freezing equipment.
So, I did what any mom hoping to incorporate more veggies in her children’s diet would do. I stirred it into a casserole. No one ever knew…
How do you creatively use up end of season produce? Send me an email or comment below!