Due to its rarity in grocery stores, it’s possible to miss the banana squash. You might not even recognize it even if you saw it growing in the fields. So What do you think is the Banana Squash?
The pinkish banana squash is among the most adaptable squashes on the market. This summer squash may be grown and harvested at the same time, then eaten raw. There are several ways to utilize it, including roasting, steaming, and sautéing it. It may also be used in casseroles, soups, and even pies!
What Is the Banana Squash and How Do You Prepare It?
Most people aren’t aware of the enormous size of this particular winter squash, which is known as banana squash. When measured in length, they may attain lengths between two and three feet, with a diameter of around six inches and a weight of 35 pounds.
How to Easily Slice a Banana Squash?
In addition to its rectangular shape, the banana squash is named for its pale, creamy yellow skin, but other types are light pink and some of the variations, known as rainbows, have stripes.
Now that you’ve seen a 30-pound squash that’s three feet long, you can see why you’ll seldom see a full one at the supermarket. For starters, they occupy a really large amount of space. Most people are afraid of veggies that appear like they could eat them instead of the other way round!
The upshot is that when you encounter a banana squash in the supermarket, it is generally sliced into smaller chunks, and the seeds and innards have been removed.
In the end, you have a neat slab of squash that’s ready to be cooked in no time at all. Usually, the chunks are also cut into slices. There’s a lot of meat in this orange-colored vegetable that is dense and firm.
Banana Squash: Uses and Recipes
Because of its regular shape, banana squash may be prepared the same way as other winter squashes, such as roasting, baking, and steaming.
The precut squash slabs discussed previously are often used in this approach. The squash may be split in half or thirds if you have a full squash; if so, cut off the ends and slice it lengthwise. To eliminate any soft or fibrous debris from the flesh, scoop off the seed and pulp and softly scrape the flesh.
Make a number of 1/4-inch deep crisscross slices in the squash flesh to resemble a checkerboard using a sharp knife. Apply melted butter, salt, brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the incisions. Baking at 375 F for one hour to one hour, fifteen minutes until soft and gently browned is recommended.
Aside from roasting, baking, or pureeing it as a side dish, it may also be used in soup, stews and risottos, pastas, curries, and even as a topper for pizza.
It is also possible to prepare it in the microwave. However, you won’t get the gorgeous caramelization by using a microwave oven that you would get cooking it in a traditional oven. Microwave cooking is just steaming, but it is a cinch and time-saving.
What’s the Smell and Taste Like?
Banana squash, like butternut squash, has a sweet, understated taste. Butternut, acorn, and kabocha squash, all of which have orange flesh, may all be substituted in recipes that call for Banana Squash. There are several ways to include it in your meal. You can prepare it with pork or lamb, apricots or raisins, herbs like rosemary and thyme, cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, and nutmeg.
Recipes for Banana Squash
In recipes that call for winter squashes, banana squash may easily be used. Banana squash may be used in a variety of ways, including:
- Succotash Soup in the Winter
- Butternut Squash and Sage Roasted Squash
- Assortment of Risotto with Butternut Squash
Banana squash may be found year-round in most grocery shops, although it’s most readily accessible in the autumn and winter when it’s in season.
Banana squash comes precut in most supermarkets due to its large size, so you may store the cut portions in the refrigerator for up to five days if they’re firmly wrapped. Keeping a whole one in a cold, dry area will keep it fresh for up to a month, so keep an eye out for them at farmers’ markets.
With an average length of 60-91cm and an average diameter of 18-22cm, banana squash may be rather enormous and have a tubular, slightly convex form. The smooth, thick-walled rind might be bright pink, bluish, yellow, or variegated, depending on the type. With a hollow seed chamber wrapping stringy pulp and hard, flat, and rectangular tiny seeds, the orange flesh is sturdier and meatier than typical citrus fruit. Banana squash has a deep, earthy sweetness to its cooked flesh that is aromatic, dry, and rich.
The peak season for banana squash is in the autumn and winter.
Known scientifically as Cucurbita maxima, the Banana Squash is a giant winter squash of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes squash and gourds. There is a long growing time and can weigh up to 35 lbs, and the plant needs a lot of room since the vines may spread over six meters. Banana squash comes in a wide variety of colors, including pink and blue, as well as hybrids and heirlooms. Winter squashes, including butternut, acorn, and baked pumpkins, quickly replaced banana squash as the most popular winter squash in the early 20th century. Banana Squashes are now well-known for their enormous size, unique form, and several culinary uses.
Vitamin and Mineral Content
As well as A and C, banana squash includes a variety of other nutrients, including folate and several B vitamins.
For better results, use Banana Squash prepared, such as in a steamer or roaster or on the grill or in a frying pan. Other winter squashes with orange flesh, such as butternut and kabocha, may be substituted since they are all real winter squashes. It’s usual to roast banana squash cubes, slices, or rings to use in soups, chilis, and stews. Toss them with fresh green salads, serve them as a side dish, or shave them thinly and use them as a pizza topping. You may match banana squash with everything from butter to cream to matured sheep’s cheeses to pig belly to lamb and even to truffles. You can prepare them with orange juice and other spices and herbs such as thyme, bay, and rosemary to sage and cumin to curry and ginger to cinnamon and cloves. When kept in a cold, moist environment, they may last for a few months.
Steamed, roasted, baked, grilled, and fried banana squash dishes are excellent. Winter squashes such as butternut can also be substituted since it is real winter squash. It’s usual to roast banana squash cubes, slices, or rings to use in soups, chilis, and stews. Alternatively, they may be used as a pizza topping or as a garnish over a fresh green salad. or as a side dish. It goes very well with butter, creme fraiche, matured sheep’s cheeses, and cream. It also goes well with pork belly and lamb. It also goes well with orange juice and spices such as thyme, bay, and sage. Keep them cold and humid for up to two months to keep them fresh.
Since its debut, Banana squash has gained popularity mostly in North America, particularly in the western states. However, the pink variants of Banana squash are also popular among Mennonite farmers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio. Because of its enormous size, Banana Squash is frequently offered in sliced form at farmers’ markets. Banana squash is also prized for its novelty, but sales have declined as smaller squashes like the acorn, which are easier to cook and provide a healthy serving size, have gained traction in the market.
Cucurbita maxima squashes may be traced back to South America, particularly Peru, and R.H. Shumway brought the Banana squash family to the United States in 1893. In spite of the Shumway seed catalogue being the first to promote Banana squash in the United States, other seed catalogues quickly followed suit, and Banana squash became a well-known winter squash variety by the turn of the twentieth century. Banana squash seeds are no longer readily available for purchase from commercial growers, although they may still be obtained among heritage seed savers. In the United States and certain locations of Central and South America, Banana squashes may be found in specialized grocers and farmers’ markets.