Butternut squash fairly brims with nutrition. High in fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, as well as B6 — one of the B complex vitamins — it also offers substantial amounts of folate, calcium, and thiamin. With its robust, almost meat-like flesh and affordable price, cooks have developed dozens of ways to prepare butternut squash in a Crock-Pot®. There’s no need to add water because butternut squash contains plenty, and as long as the skin has been well scrubbed and the seeds removed, some cooks find there’s no need to peel it before cooking either.
Experienced cooks know that, without a very sharp knife, cutting a butternut squash can be not only difficult but a tad dangerous. The skin is extremely tough, but trimming off the ends and slicing it in half is the only way to get at the seeds. The seeds, located in the squash’s round belly, need to be removed before cooking. One clever tip is to microwave the squash for a few minutes then let it cool to soften the skin before cooking the butternut squash in a Crock-Pot®.
Selecting smaller butternut squash is also a good idea because the skins aren’t as thick, making them easier to cut. In addition, larger squash can become bitter; smaller ones retain their lovely, sweetly subtle flavor. Butternut squash store well and can be kept for a long time in a dark pantry, but the longer the squash is held, the drier it becomes, which contributes to a tough skin too.
Unless the cook is preparing anything other than simply squash, cooking butternut squash in a Crock-Pot® requires not only seeding but peeling as well. The best way to do this is to slice the squash the long way, trim the ends, and remove the seeds, then bake it in the oven. Once it’s cooled, peeling and dicing the flesh is much easier; in addition, roasting gives it a nice, nutty flavor.
There is a virtual cornucopia of ways to prepare butternut squash in a Crock-Pot®. Winter squash such as butternut make wonderful, creamy, and healthy soups. The wise cook knows that apples help sweeten the soup, while coriander, nutmeg, and cinnamon bring out a harmony of flavors.
Red lentil stew, as well as side dishes like a mélange of squash, carrots, and other root veggies are also options for preparing butternut squash in a Crock-Pot®. Curried chicken with butternut squash will draw rave reviews. Prepared with brown sugar or maple syrup, the squash can even be transformed into dessert.