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Properly Preserving Squash

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

 

Properly Preserving Squash

If you happen to have a garden and planted any type of squash, you may be feeling overwhelmed.  Your family may be telling you they can only eat so much squash.  If this is the case, try preserving your summer squash in a variety of ways.

 

Canning is not a recommended preservation method for squash because of its high water, luckily though, there are a variety of other preservation options.

 

Freezing is a great preservation method and can be done by either slicing or grating the squash.  Here is the procedure depending on which freezing option you choose.

 

• Sliced: Wash the squash in cool water and trim the ends. Slice the squash into even-sized pieces and remove the seeds. Blanch in boiling water for three minutes. Cool promptly, then package into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, leaving ½ inch head space. Label with the contents and date.

 

• Grated: Choose young, tender squash. Wash and grate it. Steam blanch in small quantities for one to two minutes until translucent. Pack in measured amounts into containers, leaving ½ inch head space. Cool by placing the packed containers or bags in cold water. Dry package and freeze the contents.  It is important to note when thawing packages that the squash may be watery, discard any liquid before adding it to your recipes.

 

Squash can also be dried.  To dry it, Wash the summer squash and slice ¼ inch thick. Spread it evenly onto the dehydrator trays and dehydrate it at 115 F for six to 12 hours or until crisp. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container as soon as possible.

 

Below is a recipe for taco summer squash boats.  It is just one more way to incorporate all of your garden squash into your meals.  Enjoy!

 

Taco Summer Squash Boats

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium summer squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ c. salsa
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • ½ small onion, chopped fine
  • ½ c. bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 (4-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • ¼ c. water
  • ½ c. shredded cheese
  • ¼ c. cilantro

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the squash in the boiling water for two minutes, then place on a paper towel to drain. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Scrape out the flesh of the squash, reserving 1 cup for this recipe and using the rest in other recipes or freezing it as described. Spoon ¼ cup salsa into the bottom of a large baking dish and arrange squash face up. Set aside. Brown turkey in a large skillet until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning, onion, pepper, cilantro, reserved squash, tomato sauce and water and stir to combine. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Fill each squash boat with the turkey mixture, then top with cheese. Cover with foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until squash is fork tender and cheese is melted. Garnish and serve with salsa.

Makes ten servings.  Each serving contains 110 calories, 10 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 140 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber and 4 grams protein.

Source:

  • NDSU Extension Service, Summer Squash, February 2017
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