Squash is a vegetable that can be cooked and eaten as a side dish or main course. It’s typically available from late summer through early winter and comes in many shapes and colors: orange, green, white (or pale yellow), and even blue-gray.
But what do you do when it has gone bad? Here we explain how to know if your squash is spoiled so you don’t have to take any chances. You’ll never have to throw away your squash ever again with these tips!
How long does squash last?
If you want to know when squash is going bad here are a few key things to look out for,
When squash begins to go bad, it will become soft and begin to leak liquid. They can also begin to form mold, at which point they are no longer fresh and should be thrown out. It’s also crucial to remember that fresh vegetables lose nutrients every day as it sits on your shelf.
How to know if squash is bad?
The skin is starting to look bad
A yellow squash’s skin texture is generally smooth. Some individuals, on the other hand, may have somewhat rough skin that is typical.
The excessively rough texture might suggest a past illness or a lack of nutrients in the garden.
When cooked or eaten raw, uneven skin may extend to the vegetable flesh, affecting the flavor. Avoid the vegetable when you encounter similar symptoms.
Your squash is starting to get soft spots
When harvesting or transporting squash (transporting fresh vegetables in general), be careful not to scratch or drop them. The vegetable skin is incredibly delicate. It can acquire scratches as a result of mishandling, resulting in soft spots.
Squashes with scratches on them are more susceptible to getting sick during and after the journey home.
When these scratches are developed, the skin begins to decay, resulting in softer areas. This is an obvious sign that your squash is not good. Outer skin wrinkles are also a warning signal that the vegetable is starting to go bad.
Your squash is starting to lose weight
Another simple method to determine whether fresh squash is off is to observe its size and weight.
A typical and healthy one should weigh at least 1 pound. Both the straight and curvy neck yellow squash have an average weight of 1 pound.
In addition, consider the size. If the vegetable is under 6 inches in length, it’s probably going bad.
How to store Butternut Squash?
How to store fresh Butternut Squash on the kitchen counter
If you don’t need your fresh butternut squash right away, keep it raw and whole (don’t peel it!) in a cool, dark place; on the counter is also fine.
This technique works for one to three months, so don’t be concerned if you store a lot of whole butternut squash ahead of time.
How to store Butternut Squash In the fridge
Peel and cube the whole fresh butternut squash, then place it in an airtight container in the fridge for about three to five days.
How to store and freeze Butternut Squash In the freezer
Peel the fresh butternut squash and cut it into one-inch cubes, then spread them on a sheet pan and freeze them solid.
Once they’re frozen, put them in an airtight food storage container or a zip-lock bag and return them to the freezer.
How to store Yellow Squash?
How to store Yellow Squash on the kitchen counter?
It’ll keep for one to three months if kept uncooked and whole (don’t peel it!) in a cold, dark location on the counter is sufficient.
It can last up to three months if stored in this manner, so don’t be concerned if you plan to stock up ahead of time.
How to store Yellow Squash in the fridge?
Before storing yellow squash (also known as the summer squash) in the refrigerator, do not wash it. They should be stored in a plastic bag with a few holes poked through for ventilation, and then placed in the vegetable drawer. Yellow squash can last 1 to 3 months stored like this.
How to store Yellow Squash In the freezer?
To prevent your raw squash from turning mushy, blanch it lightly before freezing it.
When you thaw and cook an uncooked frozen squash, its texture will be completely wrong…
Remove the cooked yellow squash from the hot water with a slotted spoon and immediately put it in an ice bath to cool down and stop the cooking process.
Place the cubes on a sheet pan and freeze completely. When they’re solid, transfer them to an airtight food storage container or zip-top bag and put them back in the freezer for later use.
Can you freeze squash without blanching it first?
Yes, there is no need to blanch your squash before putting it in the freezer.
However, freezing it raw will result in a texture that is totally wrong when thawed and cooked afterward. If you want to blanch your squash before freezing it follow the following steps:
- Remove the skin from the squash and cut it into cubes no bigger than one inch.
- Then put them in a pot of boiling water and cook until the water returns to a boil. (this process is blanching)
- Remove the squash from the cooking water with a slotted spoon and immediately place it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Freeze the cubes of cooked squash on a baking sheet (try not to let them touch).
- When the frozen squash cubes are frozen solid, remove them from the freezer, and transferred them to an airtight food storage container or freezer bag, they’ll be good for months.
How should squash be stored to extend its shelf life?
You can keep winter squash (which is really cultivated in the summer but most commonly consumed in the fall or early winter) for a long time if you store it in the pantry.
Winter squash will keep a little longer if kept in the refrigerator, although they lose flavor and texture as a result.
Blanched squash can be kept frozen for 6-8 months (Uncooked squash can be frozen, but this will alter the flavor and texture).
The advantages of properly stored food include eating healthier, other health benefits, saving money on food, and reducing environmental waste.
How to pick out butternut squash?
Picking out a perfect squash from the store comes down to follow 3 things you need to look out for:
- Weight: Select a squash that is heavier than it appears.
- Stem: The stem should be sturdy and dry.
- Color: When choosing squash, look for ones with a rich and deep color. Select squash that is rich and intense in color, it’s okay if it has a few marks (or greener colors) on it.
Squash is a great vegetable to keep on hand, but it can go bad if you don’t use or store them properly.
To avoid this issue altogether, follow these simple steps for storing squash in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. If your squash isn’t stored correctly, it will eventually spoil and become useless.
So make sure that when you’re stocking up at the grocery store you know how to pick out fresh winter squashes like spaghetti squash or butternut squash by looking for weight, color, and stem! We hope this post helped you with all your questions!