Pumpkins and winter squashes like butternut, acorn, and kabocha will keep for quite awhile when stored in a cool, dry place, but freezing can extend their life even longer. Here are two methods of preserving winter squash in the freezer – one raw and one cooked.
Raw: Peel and cut the squash into chunks of any size; 1-inch cubes are a good size. Spread the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. When completely frozen, transfer the squash to a freezer-safe container with 1/2-inch headspace to allow for food expansion. Frozen chunks may be added directly to stews or into the oven for roasting, or thawed before using.
Cooked: Depending on the size of the squash, cut it in halves, cubes, or slices. Cook it by roasting, steaming, or boiling. Remove the skins and mash the squash. When cool, pack it into freezer containers with 1/2-inch headspace – or freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins and then transfer to a container. The creamy squash puree may be used in lasagnas, soups, dips, and more.
Related: Help Me Preserve 15 Pounds of Winter Squash
(Images: Emily Ho; Emma Christensen; Faith Durand)