Different kinds of winter squash-which are interchangeable?

Hello First Time Ever WINTER CSA Members!!

I’m super excited about the winter CSA. I love late season and storage vegetables. During the regular season CSA it feels like we are just getting started with late season food when the CSA ends mid October. This season the crew has planted 7 caterpillar tunnels and one hoop house for the winter CSA.  It’s going to be fun to see what comes out of them!

Lot’s of the food you will be getting was harvested before the frost and it has been carefully stored either in the barn or in the walk-in coolers. One of those crops that is now stored is the winter squash.

Clockwise these are buttercup, butternut, pie pumpkin (winter luxury), spaghetti, baby butternut and kabocha. We have lots and lots of information on this site about storing and cooking different kinds of squash.

Let’s look a little deeper into what makes them unique, and similar.

Kabocha (my favorite winter squash) and buttercup squash both have cork like stems and bright orange, very sweet and dry flesh. The shape stands up to braising in curries or stews and is delicious in soups, ravioli filling and they are dry enough to make squash gnocchi.  These two squash are completely interchangeable with each other and also with a sweet potato!  Kabocha skin is thin so I never peel it. Buttercup is a little thicker so I either peel it or scoop the flesh out and compost it.

Pie pumpkins and butternut squash are the two ubiquitous winter squash in most people’s repertoire. Almost any thing you can do with any winter squash you can safely substitute one of these. The flesh is orange, slightly firm, slightly stringy, slightly sweet, slightly nutty and not too dry especially if you roast them. I LOVE winter luxury pie pumpkins in this pie.

I love spaghetti squash but I always say I wish it had a different name. No, it doesn’t taste like spaghetti. It is stringy and very mild in taste, not sweet at all like other squash. It takes on the flavor of whatever you cook or serve it with. It has a chewy almost crisp texture that is sort of like rice vermicelli AND it comes with it’s own bowl! You can cook and eat your whole meal in one go! I can’t really think of anything you can substitute for or with spaghetti squash. In my experience this is the longest storing winter squash. I have kept a spaghetti squash from October to June! That’s 8 months!

One squash I don’t have on this list or even on this site is an acorn squash. I didn’t have one here today but I’ll find one at the farm this week and fix that!

Enjoy your winter vegetables and know they will keep for you for a long time.

Have a great week.



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