Varieties of Winter Squash

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How To Pressure Cook Squash

Types of Squash

 

 

 

Squash falls into two classifications, summer squash and winter. Winter Squash have thick skin, hard seeds, and very dense flesh requiring that it be cooked longer than summer squash. Select squash that are brightly colored, firm, and free of rust spots, bruises and cracks. It is low in sodium, a good source of vitamin A, and high in fiber. They can be store for extended periods of time, for a month or more, depending on type, if stored in a cool dry location.

Winter squash is excellent when pressure cooked. The most common way to prepare winter squash is to cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. The squash can then be and cooked in halves, or quartered, cubed, or sliced.

How To Pressure Cook Squash

Cooking Time Chart

Many factors -- weight, age, skin thickness -- influence cooking times with squash. Use this information as a guideline, but the actual cooking times may vary depending on the size, type and quality of the squash. All times are for steaming. Use a steamer basket or rack and place the squash well above the waterline, cut side up or resting on the side to conserve space.

Cook at 15psi. If it is desired to keep the skin or shell intact, slightly undercook and use the cold water release method. Use the cold water release method for small and thin skinned squash. Use the natural release for larger pieces of squash. Be sure to see the recipes in the Veggies Recipe section.

1 inch chunks

2 minutes

Quartered

3 minutes

Halved

4 minutes

Whole (small)

6 minutes

Whole (med. to large)

7-8 minutes

Types of Squash

Popular Name

Description

Acorn, Table Queen And Danish Squash

A small acorn squash resemblles an acorn in shape and typically measuring up to six inches in length, it will be firm, smooth-skinned and heavy for its size, weighing from 1 to 3 pounds. The acorn has a very smooth skin with distinctive ribs that run the length of its hard shell. Compared to a butternut squash, the acorn's flesh is more fibrous, blander and less sweet and a bit drier than others. Acorns come in a variety of colors to include green, orange, cream and gold.The meat is mild flavored, slightly fibrous. Golden acorn is a sweeter, smoother cousin of the green variety with a stringier texture, but a sweet taste.

Ambercup

A relative of the buttercup , Amber Cup squash resembles a small pumpkin with its brilliant orange shell. Bright orange, fine-grained flesh with a dry, very sweet taste.

Autumn Cup

This dark green squash is only about 6 inches and weighs about 2 to 3 pounds. It has rich flavoured yellow flesh.

Banana Squash

The banana squash gets its name from its shape. It grows up to two feet in length and about 6 inches wide and averages 10 to15 pounds. It has a very hard skin that is creamy or pinkish in color and its bright orange flesh is finely textured is very sweet. The banana squash is often sold in pieces. Banana squash also makes a great base/ thickener and sweetener for winter vegetable soups (with cabbage, potatoes, onion, turnip, celery, and whatever else is in the fridge).

Buttercup

The buttercup squash is a variety of turban squash and has a unique exterior look. It has a dark green skin with a crown of lighter blue-gray flesh. The interior is orange and is very sweet with a taste much like a sweet potato. The flesh is dark orange, sometimes almost reddish in color. This squash is much sweeter than other winter varieties with a succulent, very fine-grained, thick meat.

Butternut

Possibly the most common squash in North America, Butternut is la ong, pear-shaped squash with a tan skin  and a sweetly flavored orange flesh. It is one of the most popular winter squashes and is also known as the pumpkin squash.It has a firm, blazing orange flesh and a creamy texture that tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with a choice, fine-textured, deep-orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor. The oranger the color, the riper, drier and sweeter the squash.

Calabaza

Warm climate pumpkins, this large squash can be bright orange, to green, yellow, or cream-colored skin. Sweet and moist when cooked, it's often sold in cut portions.

Carnival

-new variety with a thick meaty texture that is very sweet. The thin skin is cream colored with orange or dark green spots and vertical stripes.The delicious yellow meat iof the Carnival s reminiscent of sweet potatoes.

Delicata,
Also Bohemian Squash

The delicata squash is actually an heirloom variety, and is a fairly recent reentry into the culinary world. It was originally introduced by the Peter Henderson Company of New York City in 1894 and was popular through the 1920ís. Then it fell into obscurity for about 75 years.

Delicata weighs between 1 and 2 pounds and may range from 5 to 10 inches in length. It is oblong in shape with a cream colored skin with stripes that vary from orange to green. It has golden fine-textured inner flesh. Compared with other winter squashes, the delicata has (as its name suggests) a more delicate flavor and it is unique because the skin is edible. Its yellow flesh is moist and creamy when steamed and suggests the sweetness of sweet corn. This squash won't keep long because of its thin skin, but it is one of the tastier winter squashes.

Golden Nugget, Oriental Pumpkin

Very sweet variety of winter squash that has the appearance of a small pumpkin in shape and color. It ranges in size from one to three pounds. The skin is a dull orange when it is ready to harvest. It has a golden orange meat, that is fine-grained and very smooth, but only slightly sweet and bland in taste.

Hubbard

Hubbard is one of the larger, best keeping winter squashes, and with its extra-hard, very bumpy skin, its one of the best keeping winter squashes. It comes in a variety of colors ranging from bluish gray, yellow, , orange or dark green. Very thick skinned. the yellow flesh tends to be very moist. The yellow to orange meat is generally fine grained, dry, and has good flavor. Hubbard squash have fairly dry flesh, so they taste best sauced or used in soups, stews and gratins.

Kabocha, Hokkaido Or Japanese Pumpkin

Kabocha squash is not as well known as its more popular relatives the butternut and acorn squashes. This globe-shaped squash has a smooth, dark green, edible skin with pale green stripes weighing about 3 lbs. Kabocha has a deep orange, very sweet, rich flesh that takes on a pleasant stickiness when cooked and it has a nutty texture that is often dry and flaky and the flavor resembes chestnuts. Kabocha has the highest sugar content of any squash. Kabocha squash can be substituted in recipes that call for pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Kabocha is generally available all year round. When selecting a Kabocha squash, do not select those that are soft or show pitting. Also, check that the stem is intact and looks fresh.

Pie Pumpkins

All pumpkins may be eaten, but there is a big difference between sweet tasting pie pumpkins, and the bland, watery, and fibrous meat of decorative pumpkins. Pie pumpkins are small and have a sweet, mild flavor with a firm flesh.

Red Kuri
A thick-skinned orange colored squash that has the appearance of an oblong pumpkin without the ridges. Inside the hard outer skin there is a firm flesh that provides a very delicate and mellow flavor similar to the taste of chestnuts. This squash is available year round and can be baked, braised, pureed, or steamed to be served as a side dish or used as a base for soups. Also known as Orange Hokkaido or Uchiki Kuri squash.

Spaghetti

The unique and very popular Spaghetti squash has spaghetti-like strands that resemble pasta. The a fibers are a creamy pale yellow color , mild and very moist inside. Spaghetti squash has a thin golden-yellow skin, oval shaped and weigh from 2 to 5 pounds. The yellowest Spaghetti squash will be the ripest and best to eat. Once cooked, use a fork to rake out the "spaghetti-like" strands and serve like pasta with butter or ragu sauce. Spaghetti squash is available throughout the year but is best September through February. When selecting, choose those with smooth skins, avoiding those with soft spots. The larger the squash, the thicker the strands. Store squash in a cool dry place and it should keep for a month or more.

Sweet Dumpling

These tiny plump squash weigh less than a pound and are only about four to five inches in diameter, making them perfect for individual servings. The ribbed skin is cream colored with dark green stripes and its top pushed is top. The firm but tender flesh is starchy and ivory tcolored and mildly sweet with a honey flavor. Sweet dumpling squash are available September through December. When selecting, choose those with green stripes and those that are heavy for their size. Store unwrapped in a cool, dry location for up to 10 days.

Turban

Turban Squash are small to medium sized squash with a distinctive crowned or turbin like cap swelling from its blossom end. Beautifully colored n white, green and orange with a unique, bizarre shape, they are popular as harvest ornamentals as well as in cooking. The whole squash is often used as a decorative table piece or as a tureen that is filled with squash soup. Firm textured, the inner golden flesh has a delicious hazelnut flavor. This squash is available year round, but best during August to October.

 

 

 

 

 

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