Friday, October 31, 2014

Dehydrated Butternut Squash

5 huge dehydrated  butternut squash fit into 4 pint jars
Unless their free I'll never again dry pumpkin when squash are so much easier.
A few weeks ago I bought a huge pumpkin, at 40 cents a pound it cost me $7 and 2 grueling days of work.
Day One:
Time to cut up and cook the  monster
I know that a lot of you bake your pumpkin with skin on and seeds inside but that wasn't possible for me because my oven isn't big enough and neither is my turkey roaster.
It took me till noon to get it seeded and cut into workable pieces.
I thought I would be smart and steam the pieces but that was taking too long so I ended up pressuring it in my electric pressure cooker, 3 pieces at a time.. 
It was late afternoon before the last pieces were out and cooling so I bagged them up, put them in the fridge for the next day.
Day Two:
Time to remove skins and run through the food processor and then the grueling task of placing in cheese cloth and squeezing, twisting and squeezing to get all the excess water out.  
Late afternoon I finally got it spread onto the dehydrator trays to dry.. and I swear it took longer to dry the pumpkin pulp then it did these squash.
One day only and same price of 40 cents a pound.

I cut each one in half, scooped out the seeds, laid the halves cut side down on dinner plates and microwaved till done which was an average of 10 to 15 minutes each plate.
Butternut squash is not full of water so no squeezing was needed.
While the next batch was cooking I would scoop the meat out of the slightly cooled prior one and smash it in a bowl with the back of the spoon, when the bowl was full I used the spoon to spread it onto dehydrator trays and in no time at all it was happily drying and the next day it was dry and resting in a zip lock bag waiting for me to jar and seal.
Now isn't that easier?
You can make a pumpkin pie using squash and you'd never know the difference.  It's a fact that the cans of pumpkin you buy in the store is made from squash..
Don't believe me?  Do a search and you will find that Libby is the major producer of the squash they use in the can pumpkin.
Happy eating

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