Butternut is one of the vegetables that are available all year round and about 99% of homes (at least in South Africa) have butternut, and some families have it in surplus. It is nutritious and can be used for many dishes, in soups, stew or roasted salads, etc. If you happen to have more butternut than you need or you have cut the whole butternut and now have half leftover, worried that it might go to waste? Or do you just want easy ways to store your butternut to keep it fresh for longer? Here are 5 ways you can store butternut to stay fresh for longer.
What to look for when buying butternut?
• Look for butternut that is heavy for its size, when it’s heavy it often indicates that it’s fresh.
• Choose one that is without damage or any type of spots
• Opt for butternut that has at least an inch of stem on it, this is also a good indication that It’s fresh and can last longer.
• Hard outer skin
• Avoid butternut that is not ripe, when it’s pale, or has a greenish color, it is not ripe and may not be as rich and nutritious.
First Method: Store in a cool, dark place
You can store whole, raw, and uncut butternut in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and from fruits that release ethylene gas, like Apples, Bananas, Pears, etc. When stored properly, the whole butternut can last up to three months.
Second Method: Freeze
Peel the butternut, remove seeds and dice it, and then spread out onto a baking sheet or non-stick baking tray, making sure that they don’t touch. Freeze them (overnight or until completely frozen). Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag and toss them back in the freezer.
When using a ziplock bag, make sure to remove air from the bag and seal it. With this method, you can store your frozen butternut for up to a year.
Third Method: Refrigerate
Peel the butternut, remove seeds and dice it, and then sore it uncooked, in an airtight fridge-safe container or ziplock bag. Remove air from the bag, seal and refrigerate. You can store your butternut for up to 5 days with this method. It is great for when you have leftover butternut.
You can also, roast a batch of diced butternut and store it in the
Fourth Method: Roast and Refrigerate
For this method, there are two ways to do it; you can roast the butternut with skin on or without.
Cut the butternut as you prefer, dice or half or make slices, remove seeds, drizzle one or two tablespoons of olive oil (or any neutral-flavored oil that you prefer), and bake side down at 180 for 30 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool, once cool, transfer to a ziplock bag or airtight container and refrigerate.
Fifth Method: Puree your butternut
Peel, remove seeds, and cut as you prefer, for easy cooking, you can dice the butternut. Wash and then steam, or roast or cook on the stovetop over medium to high heat, with a little water or olive oil. Once tender, mash it with a potato masher or allow it to cool and then blend it.
Once cooked and pureed, spread out onto an ice cube tray, and freeze. Once the pureed butternut is frozen, transfer it to a ziplock bag or airtight freezer-safe container and freeze. This method can make your butternut last for three to six months.
Before using the butternut puree in any meals, first, thaw it in the fridge.
Which of these methods is your go-to or you are willing to try to store butternut?