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Monday, November 25, 2019

Pink Banana Squash



Have you ever seen a squash like this before? Its variety is commonly known as a banana squash. Believe it or not, this as the smallest of the banana squash when I was at the produce stand a month ago. I paid 33 cents per pound, which I think is a pretty good price for fresh veggies these days. I'm going to hack into it today, so I wanted to show it to you while I could. While this one is a pink banana squash, there are also blue-green and all-white varieties.

Banana squash are hard-skinned, so are considered to be long-keepers. As you may have noticed, it's not the most attractive of the squashes. Perhaps that explains why you just don't see these in markets much these days. The squash that seem to populate the produce bins in autumn in my grocery stores are all the thinner-skinned and much more attractive squash. Those also happen to be the short-keepers.


This one is almost 2 feet in length and weighs about 8 pounds. I believe that I'll be able to get about 5 family meals out of this one squash. Once the squash is cut, any unused/uncooked portion will keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. 



I could have kept this longer. However, I needed some vegetables for our dinners this week and this one was taking up a large share of the food storage space. While I said banana squash is hard-skinned, the shell is not as difficult to cut as Hubbard squash, if you're familiar with that variety. I was able to cut this one into 8-inch chunks, using my serrated bread knife. Its interior flesh is deep-orange and about 1  1/4 inches thick all around.

You may have bought banana squash from the produce department of your market at some point. Markets used to regularly sell 4 to 6-inch cut chunks of banana squash which were over-wrapped in plastic wrap. Back when I was single and living on my own, cut pieces of banana squash were the cheapest fresh vegetable in the produce department. As I had very little money in those days, I ate quite a lot of this variety of squash.

Banana squash are sweet and mild-flavored. I'll be using this one in soup, oven-roasted in chunks, and baked and mashed.

12 comments:

Kris said...

I've never heard of that kind of squash! I thought it was a bread loaf when I first saw the picture. I love squash and we eat a lot of it. My husband has found a vendor at the farm market who will sell him a grocery bag of mixed squash for a good price. He then cooks it up in the oven, portions it into containers, and freezes it for future meals. It's nice to be able to pull it out of the freezer for an easy-to-prepare veggie. Thanks for showing us your unusual squash!

Anonymous said...

I have never seen that kind of squash. Where did you get it? Interesting.

My family never ate squash when I was growing up (except for summer squash like zucchini), so I had to learn to cook and eat it as an adult. I tasted one kind (not sure which) at a friend's house when I was a teenager, and I thought it was weird. Now I like most kinds of squash.

I like veggies that give you multiple servings. Yummy and cheap!

- Tina

Conni said...

Great ‘tutorial’ ! I’ve been meaning to write to you about butternut squash as a possible heads up for your next year’s garden. We planted a seed packet’s worth of seeds this summer and harvested over fifty 2-4 pound squash! They keep really well so we will be blessed to be eating them through the spring.
I had a ‘Lilli moment’ last week when contemplating a pie to make for Thanksgiving.....our ‘pumpkin pie’ will actually be butternut! Naturally (wink), I needed to make a test pie - it came out beautifully. Butternut is sweeter than pumpkin (= less sugar added) and, using your ‘foolproof crust’ recipe, the result is delicious. Butternut plants take a bit of room but the yield is certainly worth it.
Happy Thanksgiving to your family from ours!

Amy said...

A quick tip on Hubbard Squash. I don't cut them because my grandma told me to throw in on the basement floor instead. I use an old plastic tablecloth but it doesn't really create a mess. I then clean it out and put into a baking dish and bake. I know it sounds funny but she was an old Italian lady.

Amy

Live and Learn said...

That's a new kind of squash to me, but there are so many varieties that I can't keep up. When I read about it, the article said that it was good raw and in salads. Have you tried it that way?

Alice said...

I also have never seen that kind of squash. Sounds like it is tasty. I cooked a buttercup squash this week and I didn't care for that at all. The flavor just wasn't there. Butternut is my absolute favorite as the flavor is really, really good and it makes great pies!. We also try to keep them fresh as long as possible and when they start to turn then they get cooked up and into the freezer. There is nothing like a mashed potato substitute in having a bowl of butternut squash mash. I never buy any other squashes so my opinions are very limited. I have, however, made spaghetti squash for the spaghetti substitute for noodles. I find that to be a very good substitute.

Alice

Lili said...

Hi Kris,
Great idea to cook up the squash, then portion it for the freezer. I think I'll be doing that, too. The squash your husband gets at the farm market are probably pretty interesting to look at. The colors can be so pretty. I like the blue squashes and pumpkins.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lili said...

Hi Tina,
I bought this squash at a produce stand, the kind that's along a highway. They carry a lot of the "usual" veggies, but also some of the items that farmers have grown for a couple of centuries simply because they grow so well, but might not be the most visually appealing. Believe it or not, this one was the smallest of the batch where I was shopping. There was one that I think was 3 feet long! I've never bought the whole banana squash, but have bought the small chunks of it in the produce section. now that I've seen this isn't so overwhelming to cut and cook, I'll buy more of this in the future, as it's so inexpensive.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Tina!

Lili said...

Hi Conni,
Thank you for the garden suggestion of the butternut squash. I'm going to save some of the seeds from these different squash that I bought and try them out in the garden. they may or not come true to their variety, but they also may wind up producing some interesting squash and at no cost to me. I just need to clear a large spot for squash. Ah . . work for the spring!

I don't know if you've heard this, but I read somewhere that the pumpkin that is in cans is a close relative to butternut squash. The banana squash is quite sweet, too, and I think would be good in a pie. I may try that. Thanks for your suggestions!

Wishing you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving ,too, Conni!

Lili said...

Hi Amy,
now that's practical ingenuity! I have one more Hubbard, and those things are so hard to cut into. I may have to take it out to the garage and smash it on the floor (no basement, here)> Thank you for that tip. I can see where it would be a good solution. I had also thought to use the axe.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Amy!

Lili said...

Hi Live and Learn,
no, I've never tried any squash raw. I'll google some recipes and see what else is added. It could be interesting. Thank you for that suggestion!
I wonder which vegetable has the most varieties? Squash do seem to come in numerous shapes, colors, and sizes.

I hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving, Live and Learn!

Lili said...

Hi Alice,
This banana squash is very sweet. After mashing it, we added some butter and salt and it was still quite sweet. My family enjoyed it a lot. Hmm, you didn't like buttercup. That was my mother-in-law's favorite squash. I think my tastes must not be terribly discerning as I like all squash, and they mostly taste the same to me, so just are sweeter than others. Butternut is so popular, though, for a reason. It does appeal to a lot of people. I buy a few every fall. I've got 2 in the fridge right now -- trying to keep them for another month or so.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving, Alice!

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