Too much butternut. Difficulty Level: picky kid
August 24, 2019 8:50 AM   Subscribe

My garden is producing an absurd amount of large butternut squashes. I love butternut in all its many forms, but my kid cannot tolerate slimy/mushy foods. Assume I'm already aware of standard butternut preparations such as soup and ravioli. What else can I make with all this squash that my kid will eat?
posted by soren_lorensen to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Butternut fries. Slice em chunky, roast till crispy outside add salt*(or your favorite seasoning). Dead easy, friendly shape, little sweet and salty.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:53 AM on August 24, 2019 [11 favorites]

You can use it in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. Pie might be too mushy for your kiddo but maybe muffins or bread would work?
posted by corey flood at 8:58 AM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Muffins - that's just the first recipe that popped up, I haven't tried that specific recipe but muffins would be my first choice. They freeze beautifully and are a breakfast lifesaver.

They can also be used for a delicious pie - similar to pumpkin - though that's probably too mushy for your kid.

Buzzfeed has more ideas including chips, risotto, lasagna, smoothie and quick bread.
posted by bunderful at 9:00 AM on August 24, 2019

Pumpkin muffins, sweet and savoury versions exist. I have also adapted this recipe for assorted veg including all kinds of squashes
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:03 AM on August 24, 2019

Nthing that butternut squash is pumpkin, essentially, and a lot of canned pumpkin is butternut squash. Some other ideas are pumpkin cookies, pancakes, and this Mac and cheese recipe - just make sure it’s realky pureeed.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:09 AM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

You can use butternut squash in this recipe instead of the acorn squash it calls for and make a delicious pasta alfredo.
posted by jesourie at 9:13 AM on August 24, 2019

Butternut squash chips. Works best with a spiralizer but a mandoline would work too. Cut into thin disks. Lay flat on a sheet pan in the oven toss with olive & some salt. Roast in oven until crispy. Great for the pumpkins with a long "neck". Also they can go from crispy to burnt pretty quick so keep an eye on them. I love them with parmy cheese on.
posted by wwax at 9:28 AM on August 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

From Smitten Kitchen: pancakes and (more loosely, adjust spices and cheese as needed) quesadillas. Try subbing roasted and puréed squash for pumpkin in this delightful pumpkin bread. Also your kid probably won’t like it but totally worth making for yourself is her warm butternut squash and chickpea salad - so good!

Also pizza! Use roasted and puréed squash as the pizza sauce. This recipe is great but might be too gourmet for your kid - consider just mozzarella and maybe sausage if that’s acceptable.
posted by bananacabana at 9:35 AM on August 24, 2019

Make pakoras. Combine besan (chickpea flour, available at any Indian store and many supermarkets) with garam masala, toasted cumin seeds, ground turmeric, salt and cayenne. Add enough water to make a batter (thick or thin is by preference). Optionally, mix in a small amount of very finely sliced onion/ green chillies/ coriander leaves. Let rest. Thinly slice the squash, dip in the batter and fry (preferably in mustard oil from the Indian store) till the squash is cooked. You can also grate the squash, in which case the batter + squash should be thick enough to form small flattened patties and you can add more onion etc, but I prefer pakoras where the vegetable is whole.

Serve with a green chutney (blend together fresh mint, coriander leaves, lime juice, fresh ginger and green chillies). I guess reduce and deseed the chillies for your kid, or omit altogether?

You should be able to get more specific measurements, temperatures and cooking times by searching online for other forms of pakoras as well as green chutney. I just make it by feel.
posted by tavegyl at 9:37 AM on August 24, 2019 [8 favorites]

Might count as slimy, but pumpkin butter would use it up pretty well.
posted by lakeroon at 9:48 AM on August 24, 2019

does he like mashed potatoes? we mix 50% butternut squash with potatoes and it's a huge hit in this house..
posted by speakeasy at 9:58 AM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pakoras are a great idea; I also make a sort of butternut squash curry, often with green peas or chickpeas added. I don't have a proper recipe for this, but what I do is cube the squash, mix with some peanut or coconut oil and salt and garam masala, and roast in the oven until they are cooked through but not mushy.

While they're roasting, make the base: sauté minced onion, ginger-garlic paste, and minced green chilies (optional), add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, then stir in a couple of cups of crushed or dice tomatoes.

Let this simmer on low heat (adding peas or chickpeas at some point) for a while, and then stir in the roasted squash (and a little water if the base is getting too thick) and simmer for maybe another 15 minutes or so until the flavors have all blended, but before the squash starts falling apart. Salt to taste and serve with rice or paratha and yogurt.
posted by karayel at 9:59 AM on August 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

You can grate or spiralize it and use it raw in a slaw! This was a revelation for my kid, who likes the flavor but not the cooked texture. She’ll even eat raw pieces of it like carrot sticks.
posted by centrifugal at 10:13 AM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Squash tempura?
posted by Temeraria at 10:23 AM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pumpkin scones
posted by flabdablet at 10:57 AM on August 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

My favorite way to prepare butternut in grilling weather is do just that. I cut it about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick rounds ,peel and pre-cook them slightly in the microwave to ensure it cooks all the way through without burning when grilled. When placed on the grill it should still be firm. Brush with oil, place on a hot grill and let it develop some charred spots. The flavors are sweetly and richly intense after grilling and and the sugars are more pronounced. Salt and enjoy.
posted by citygirl at 11:17 AM on August 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Butternut Squash Cheddar Bread Pudding is every bit as decadent as it sounds. (It's great to serve to guests--you can have the whole thing assembled before they arrive and throw it in the oven an hour before you want to eat.)
posted by jesourie at 12:24 PM on August 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

And you could easily use butternut squash instead of sweet potato in these dinner rolls.
posted by jesourie at 12:26 PM on August 24, 2019

I've made au gratin potatoes using butternut squash slices for every other layer. Start and finish with potato slices, and it still feels like proper au gratin potatoes when you cut into the dish.
posted by dorey_oh at 12:39 PM on August 24, 2019

Do they like Thai curry?
posted by salvia at 12:44 PM on August 24, 2019

While he likes Thai food, he doesn't do most forms of cooked vegetables (they are slimy and/or mushy). I am counting my blessings because he will eat raw veg all the livelong day and his favorite food is tofu, but yeah, sometimes I've got stuff growing in my garden that makes this a challenge. (See also eggplant bumper crop now occurring.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:56 PM on August 24, 2019

Does he like tomato-type pasta sauce? You can blend a lot of butternut into it before it even changes color.

Butternut is pumpkin, so: butternut squash bread, pumpkin spice style, savory parmesan style, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (I have to remove these from my house immediately upon removal from oven, it's not safe for me or the cookies).
posted by Lyn Never at 1:23 PM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by saladin at 2:23 PM on August 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

would he drink a pumpkin pie shake (using cooked squash puree obviously)? That's a relatively healthy one with banana and yogurt, but there are ice cream based versions as well.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:44 PM on August 24, 2019

This kale pesto and roasted butternut squash pasta (NY Times Cooking so behind a paywall) may not be kid friendly, but it is my absolute favorite comfort food.

You are essentially making pesto but with kale instead of basil, roasting the butter nut squash in small cubes and then mixing it all together.

Can't wait till fall!!!
posted by brookeb at 2:46 PM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

my kids *love* butternut squash tacos. You grate up the butternut raw, add in some pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and salsa, and you have a very crunch taco. You can also spread it on chips in place of meat, and serve it as a "waco" (walking taco salad).

We also use the smitten kitchen zucchini fritter recipe, and just substitute in grated butternut squash as well. You don't need as much salting, nor does the butternut sweat as much as the zucchini, so you need a little extra binding (we use an extra egg).
posted by alathia at 11:39 AM on August 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

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