How To Stream A Pumpkin Or Winter Squash

Winter Squash In Steamer
Winter Squash In Steamer

Steaming winters squash is my most used method of preparing winter squash.  I find it quick, easy, and once streamed, the squash is easily used.

Kitchen Equipment

  • A streamer—for large squashes I repurpose my pasta pan.
  • A pair of tongs
  • A large metal spoon – Usually use a large tablespoon, but any strong large metal spoon will do fine.
  • A scrap bowl to keep the bits and pieces out of the way, until you are ready to deal with them.
  • A kitchen Cleaver to cut the squash
  • A cutting board
  • A table fork

How To Prepare The Squash Or Pumpkin For Streaming

  • Wash the exterior of the squash to remove any debris
  • On a cutting board, use the Clever to remove a small quantity from both ends
Trimmed End Of Winter Squash
Trimmed End Of Winter Squash
  • Slice the squash lengthwise on both side to its center
Winter Squash Cut Lengthwise
Winter Squash Cut Lengthwise
  • Scrape out seeds and membranes set aside.
Using Spoon To remove Seeds and Membranes
Using Spoon To remove Seeds and Membranes
  • Measure the depth of your steamer and cut both halves into lengths slightly shorter, so, the squash will fit into your streamer.
  • Cut each section lengthwise down the center, effectively quartering large quash. If you are dealing with a smaller squash you may want to leave it in halves, if they are not too large. For very large squash you may need to cut them into more section.  The goal is to get them to fit and to be in roughly equal size chunks.

How To Steam Your Winter Squash

  • Add water to just below, an inch or so, the base of your stream insert
  • Fill your stream with the first batch, loosely pack so the stream can circulate easily
Winter Squash Loosely Loaded Into Streamer
Winter Squash Loosely Loaded Into Streamer
  • Cover and turn on high
  • Once the stream is flowing, reduce to a medium or medium-low heat
  • Let the squash steam for a few minutes. This can vary depending on the thickness of the flesh of the squash.  For thick squash 15 minutes for thinner squash 10 minutes, then start checking your squash for doneness every few minutes.
  • Test with a table fork, when the fork can be inserted easily through the flesh to the outer shell of the squash you squash is done
Testing With Fork For Doneness
Testing With Fork For Doneness
  • Turn off and let cool. I’m usually working with large winter, so, I use tongs to move the squash to a heat tolerant bowl or pan to cool while I fill my steamer and cook the next batch.
Using Metal Tongs To Move squash to a cooling Bowl or Plate
Using Metal Tongs To Move squash to a cooling Bowl or Plate
  • Once cool, use a metal spoon to remove the flesh from the outer shell and place in a container of your choice.
Separating Flesh from Shell With A Spoon
Separating Flesh from Shell With A Spoon

Caution:  Stream squash is extremely hot and can burn you, as can the steam. So, be careful and let the squash cool before handling and don’t get in too big of a rush to start removing the flesh from the shell.

Uses of Steamed Squash

  • Steamed squash is very useful and can be used in any number of ways, such as soups, pies, bread, cakes, and/or mash. It can be added to other dishes like macaroni and cheese (and other dishes) as a partial cheese substitute.
  • Also, it can be added to dog food in moderation to provide fiber and added nutrition. We are giving it to our dogs, we like to add some home-grown yogurt too for added flavor and benefit for our dogs. By the way, we check with our vet and she recommends adding some squash to a dog’s diet.

Storage Of Steamed Squash

  • In the refrigerator steamed squash can be stored for three or four days before used.
  • Once cooled streamed winter squash can be placed in freezer containers and frozen for up to a year. Keep in that it will come out of the freeze and be watery, but it perfectly usable.
  • Streamed winter squash can also be canned, if care is taken, and stored in your pantry or cellar up to three years.

How Not To Waste The Scraps

There are several ways to take advantage of the squash scraps. Among them are:

  • Roasting the seeds for a snack and other uses
  • If you are a gardener, growing non-hybrid seed (and/or grow no other variety which could cross breed), you can dry the seeds and use them for a future
  • Composting the scraps to make a garden soil additive
  • If you happen to have livestock, feed it to them, they will love it. Especially, chickens, cattle, and pigs.

Related References