Aldi had butternut squash for 59 cents a pound, so I picked up 8 in different sizes. Winter squash is a winner to stock up on, because it lasts for months on your counter. No need to come right home from the store, and start putting your winter squash in jars. But since I bought so many, and four large heirloom pumpkins to process before Christmas, I decided to get a head start.
Unlike other vegetables, you can’t find winter squash all year long in the store (at least around here). Two of my kids’ favorite meals are butternut squash macaroni and cheese, and a butternut squash red lentil curry, and I can’t make these dishes until fall hits each year. Now I have seven quarts of butternut squash at my fingertips all year long, for these recipes and others. I enjoy butternut squash in a fall salad, and even on a pesto pizza and risotto. Butternut squash is fun in a beef stew, or as a side dish. I’ve never made butternut squash soup, but I have that on my list for this season. As I type, I’m wondering if I should can even more.
I’ve canned winter squash two ways – hot pack and raw pack. One would think raw pack (without cooking first) would make for a firmer squash, but actually it turns out waterlogged. A quick 2 minute boil makes for a better product. I’ve prepared mine in water and a little salt, but if you wanted to add maple syrup, cinnamon, or other flavorings you could do that too. Part of canning fun is making custom items your family loves. You could mix and match your jars – do one with flavorings to try and others in water for more versatility.
My instructions calls for 8 quarts of raw squash, but when you quick cook the squash it will shrink to fit into 7 quarts.
Canned Butternut Squash
8 quarts cubed butternut squash, with stingy/soft parts cut off.
Cut skin off butternut squash and scoop out seeds and fibrinous parts. Cube squash into one inch pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook squash for two minutes. While squash is cooking, put 3/4 tsp of canning salt into each quart jar. When squash is done, place in jars and cover with boiling or very hot water to the one inch mark. Check for bubbles in your jars to ensure you will have proper head space. Pressure can for 90 minutes, following your canner’s instructions.