After cleaning our van this past weekend I came across the most recent issue of Vegetarian Times, which had apparently gotten lost under my seat. Oops. Anyhow, there was a section on butternut squash in it with recipes so when I was out shopping and spied smaller butternut squashes I stocked up. At our local grocery store they seem to only carry 3-5 lb ones which besides being so big are really hard for me to cut! Trader Joe’s had smaller ones that were about 2 lbs each and I could easily slice right through them.
I scrubbed up all my squashes, trimmed the tops and bottoms (it makes cutting in half a lot easier) and then split them in half. I scooped and discarded the seeds and layed them on a baking sheet cut side down (lightly sprayed with cooking spray), and then baked for 1 hour at 350°.
I scooped out each half, it was about ½ cup or so and mashed it up. Most of the halves I then packed into quart freezer bags, which I spread thinly inside and froze for later use. Two of the halves I kept out. The first I used for some very simple baby food. Is it cheaper? Not really but you know what you are getting and it is fresh, fresh, fresh!
Butternut Baby (Or Toddler!) Food
- ½ roasted small butternut squash, roasted (of a 2 lb squash)
Scoop out the flesh into a mesh strainer (small holes, one used for flour sifting is the right size). Use a spoon to press the squash gently against the strainer, working it till it starts coming out the strainer, using a second spoon to scrap the outside into a bowl below. This removes any stringiness from the squash and leaves a smooth purée.
For toddlers consider adding a bit of buttery spread to add a few calories!
Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator until eating time.
For the second recipe I tried a Butternut Squash Indian Pudding recipe that I had seen in the magazine. Well….it didn’t ever quite turn out but it wasn’t a loss. It was just that the pudding never set up, even with an extra 30 minutes in the oven. Taste wise it was good though and as it cooled it set up more. Think a thick nutritious pudding but not a firm dessert when hot, when cold it is very, very thick! A recipe to play with a bit more in the future.
Butternut Indian Pudding
- ½ roasted small butternut squash, roasted (of a 2 lb squash), mashed well
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp Earth Balance buttery stick
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
Preheat the oven to 275° and spray a 1 to 1½ quart baking dish.
In a medium saucepan whisk the milk, cornmeal cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until thickened (stir often!). Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and then the squash, brown sugar and molasses.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 1½ hours (in the original recipe a butter knife in the center was to come out clean, mine never did).
After taking it out of the oven I stirred it well and divided it into 4 dessert dishes and chilled the pudding.