What is Winter Squash? Winter Squash planted in the spring and harvested in the late fall. They have hard skins and can store in cool, dry conditions for months. Types of winter squash are: Pink Banana, Turban Squash, Pumpkins, Butternut, Buttercup, Acorn, Spaghetti and more!

If you grew, or purchased, a winter squash, you are probably looking ways to add different flavor. Whether you’re whole family doesn’t like to eat it as much as you do (mine doesn’t) or you just want to spruce it up a bit here’s a few suggestions. If you’re an amateur and not sure what you’re doing, that’s ok too! I will start with a basic recipe!

1. Prepare for baking. Wash the outside thoroughly with a vegetable brush. Cut in half then scoop seeds and stringy membranes out, discard. If you have a hard time cutting the squash in half, here’s a trick: pierce the squash through the middle several times, place on heavy baking tray then bake whole. So you will skip #2 if doing this.

2. Once prepared, place cut side down in heavy baking pan (glass or roasting pan is best) with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

3. Bake at 375 degrees until flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Depending on the size of the pieces this could take an hour or more. I like to tent the pan with foil to speed up the baking process and make sure the edges of the squash don’t burn.

4. Remove the skin. If baked whole, now you can cut the squash open and scoop seeds and stringy membranes out then remove the skin.

5. Brush with desired topping such as Pear Butter, your favorite Pepper Jelly or Gerard’z Honeybees Turlock Honey! Then cut into desired sized chunks and serve! Typically it is topped with butter, sugar and cinnamon but there is no rule, be creative! Or try drizzling with Balsamic Vinegar.

LEFTOVERS: Store leftovers in refrigerator for a few days or freeze whole.

**MOMS: Did you know that leftover plain baked squash is perfect homemade baby food? Just puree to desired texture!