Butternut squash is typically eaten after it is roasted, steamed or grilled because the heat softens its flesh and gives it a rich, silky texture. If you grow or buy fresh butternut squash, you do not have to rush to eat it immediately. Proper storage techniques will preserve whole butternut squash for up to seven days; peeled and chopped squash is edible for up to three days. It even stores well in the freezer.
Store in the fridge
Place a whole butternut squash into a plastic food storage bag that is large enough to completely cover the entire surface of the vegetable. Squeeze out any extra air in the bag and secure it shut tightly.
Transfer the squash into your fridge vegetable drawer or another cool, dark compartment. Store the whole, covered squash in the refrigerator for up to seven days for the best results.
Place any peeled or chopped pieces of butternut squash into a food storage bag or other airtight container. Keep the container of butternut squash pieces in your fridge's vegetable drawer for no longer than three days before consuming.
Store in the freezer
Drag a vegetable peeler across the outside of the squash to remove all of the outer skin, then discard the peels. Cut the squash into 2.5 cm cubes or smaller.
Fill a large pan on your hob with three cups of water. Set the temperature to "high" and heat until the water is bubbling. Transfer the squash pieces into the water and boil them for about seven minutes or until they are slightly softened.
Remove the butternut squash pieces with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl. Mash the squash with a fork or potato masher, then let it sit until it comes down to room temperature. Scoop the mashed squash into a freezer food storage bag or other airtight container, leaving at least a 1.25 cm space between the bag opening and the squash.
Place the mashed squash into your freezer. Keep it frozen for up to six months before thawing and cooking.
If you buy your butternut squash from the supermarket, wrap it in at least two plastic produce bags for extra protection during storage, especially if it is a larger squash.
Thawed and mashed butternut squash can be stirred into pastas, cheese sauces or soups to add a creamy texture.
Never buy butternut squash that has any soft spots or dark coloured areas -- these signs indicate the butternut squash is already starting to go bad and will not last as long, even with proper storage.
Do not freeze whole butternut squash or diced pieces if possible because they may start to lose their shape during the freezing process.