When the kids were babies, we used to make frozen baby food for them. We ended up making a lot of squash, because it was so easy. I realized pretty quickly how convenient it is to have frozen squash on hand — you can mix a cube or two into pretty much anything. Here’s how:
Cut your squash or pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Don’t be too meticulous about the strings — they’re actually really good for you so go ahead and leave them in. Place the pieces cut-side down in a baking pan, and add about 1/2 in. of water to the bottom. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour or until soft.
Let it cool a while if you like; it will be easier to handle. Then scrape out the cooked flesh and press it into ice cube trays:
This very small pie pumpkin filled almost 2 trays. Freeze until set, then put cubes in a freezer-safe gallon-size plastic bag. 5 cubes = about 1 c. pumpkin.
You can use this for so many things. I love cooking with squash and pumpkin, but I absolutely hate when I see the words “peel, cube, and dice” associated with any type of winter squash. That is a huge undertaking. I’d much rather grab some cubes and throw them in. Here are some things you can do with pumpkin or squash that has been frozen like this:
1. Baby food – start with 2 cubes, thawed. (Note: watch out for the strings. Might not hurt to give this a whirl in a food processor before freezing for very small babies, so they don’t choke.)
2. Add 2-3 cubes to oatmeal as it’s cooking, then add cinnamon, cloves, dried ginger and a bit of sugar for pumpkin pie oatmeal.
3. Use it in pumpkin or squash soup recipes like this one.
4. Use it in any baking recipe (pumpkin bread, cookies) that calls for canned pumpkin. Note that it’s a little bit runnier than canned pumpkin; you will want to reduce the liquid in your recipe by a little bit.
5. Sneak a couple of cubes into boxed macaroni and cheese to add a little bit of nutrition.