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Seasonal Ingredient: Butternut Squash

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Butternut Squash is my favorite seasonal fall ingredient. It’s so versatile – It tastes great roasted or sautéed in grain salads, mashed, in soups, in pasta sauce and so much more! You can add so many flavors to it as well – cinnamon/honey or ancho/cumin are great flavors combinations.

Chopping up a butternut squash for the first time can be intimidating. It’s an awkward shape to deal with, so having to peel, remove the seeds, and chop it can be difficult. A very thin, sharp knife makes the task easier, but a whole lot more dangerous. Just make sure you’re working on a flat, sturdy surface and watch your fingers.

You can buy butternut squash at the store already chopped but it’s normally extremely overpriced and you still have to take the time to cut it into smaller pieces. Buying the whole squash is much more cost effective, normally I purchase mine at Whole Foods for $1.99 a pound.

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Tip: Something I figured out pretty quickly, while preparing a butternut squash, was that a regular vegetable peeler doesn’t work. I find it a lot easier to just use my knife to peel the squash. (pictured above)

Since this whole process is a little difficult to explain, I’ve taken pictures of the steps below to make it easier to understand. I find that with cooking, pictures make steps easier to follow.

If you’d like to put these steps into practice, stay tuned for Thursday’s blog post – Butternut Squash & Black Bean Chili.

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How to cut a Butternut Squash:

1. Wash and dry the squash.

2. On a very large cutting board, cut off the top and bottom.

3. Cut the squash in half. The best place to cut it in half, is where the base starts. This makes things easier when it comes to peeling.

4. Very carefully, using a shape knife, place a flat end of each piece on the board and start cutting off the peel. Trying your best to remove only the peel.

5. With each piece still on a flat end, cut down the middle.

6. One piece will be solid squash and the other will have a pocket of seeds. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and membrane.

7. Then place the new flat side down. Cut each piece into 1/2 inch slices.

8. From there, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Or whatever sized cubes you need.

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If you have any questions, comments, or recipe/post requests, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Also, if you use this tip, please let me know what you think!

 

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