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Green Butternut Squash

You maybe used to eating or buying yellow butternut squash. That’s because a yellow butternut squash is a ripe butternut squash, ready to be cooked.

But what about green butternut squash?

A green butternut squash is an unripe butternut squash. The opinion is split regarding the value of a green butternut squash. Some people are convinced that this does not taste good and it is best to let butternut squash ripen. Those who do not cook or eat green butternut squash will leave unripe squashes attached to the vines until it is completely ripe and ready to be harvested. Others, however, see the culinary value and potential of a green butternut squash, cooking an unripe butternut squash, and enjoying the dish made with it. There are many suggestions and tips you can find online on how to best use an unripe butternut squash or green butternut squash. If you are daring, adventurous, or creative enough in the kitchen, I am sure you will find more ways to use this type of squash in cooking.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae  
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucurbita
Species: C. moschata
Binomial name: Cucurbita moschata

Green Butternut Squash Trivia

  • Hold two equal-sized butternut squashes, one ripe (yellow) and one unripe (green). Notice how green butternut squash is heavier compared to the ripe butternut squash. It is because the green butternut squash is full of moisture, while a ripe butternut squash has less moisture.
  • Here’s one more fun thing to do: put a ripe and unripe butternut squash in the water. A ripe butternut squash will float, while the unripe green butternut squash will sink.
  • A green or unripe butternut squash need not completely green in color overall. If a butternut squash has green streaks or green spots, there is a good chance that this butternut squash is still unripe.

Green Butternut Squash Buying Guide

When buying green butternut squash, check the skin and avoid those with bruises, holes, discoloration, broken patches, or mold. The skin should also be hard, not soft. Pick a green butternut squash with an intact stem. This will keep longer, compared to a green butternut squash that has lost its stem, which is more vulnerable to turning bad or rotting faster. Buy just enough since it is not hard to find especially when it is squash season.

Green Butternut Squash Production & Farming in Texas

One of the reasons why farmers love planting butternut squash is because it can grow in almost any climate. Spring is the best time to plant butternut squash after the last frost of the season has passed. When planting the seed, make sure that the soil is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit or it will not germinate.

Generally, butternut squash needs full sun and well-draining soil but take note also that butternut squash seedlings are susceptible to drought, so make sure to always keep the soil moist, and they cannot survive overheat, which is why it is advisable to give plants some afternoon shade. Butternut squash needs soil with a pH between 5.5 to 7.0 (acidic to neutral). Having a rich soil to start (reinforced later by organic compost or aged manure, preferably in the middle of the growing season) is important when growing butternut squash because this plant is a heavy feeder. To ensure optimal growth, use a liquid fertilizer every two (or three, depending on your soil condition) weeks.

Butternut squash can grow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 2 through 11. This means it can grow anywhere in Texas. The hardiness zone spectrum covering Texas ranges from 6 to 9B.

According to a 2014 PDF from the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, “butternut squash is reasonably tolerant of weed competition.”

Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals

Slugs and snails threaten young butternut squash seedlings. As the plant grows, there are more pests to worry about, like Japanese beetles. Squash bugs and squash vine borers are also common enemies of butternut squash.

  • Squash bugs – The use of man-made pesticide carbaryl is the solution to rid of squash bugs.
  • Squash vine borers – Use man-made pesticide carbaryl, broad-spectrum, pyrethroid-based insecticides like permethrin, or the pyrethroid insecticide bifenthrin to rid your butternut squash of squash vine borers.
  • Snails and slugs – Use slug bait or copper tape against slugs and snails.
  • Japanese beetles – To rid butternut squash of Japanese beetle, use pyrethrin, which is a combination of six chemicals (pyrethrin I, pyrethrin II, cinerin I, cinerin II, jasmolin I, and jasmolin II). An organic version of pyrethrin involves the use of chrysanthemum flowers. When using pyrethrin, make sure to mix 7.5 to 15 oz of concentrate in 5 gallons of water and apply enough to cover the upper and lower leaf surfaces.

Geography

Hubbard, which is half of the hybrid butternut squash, originated in northern Argentina. In the US, winter squash such as butternut squash is grown in many parts of the country but it is Michigan, New York, and California that has the most when it comes to production. North America is a major player in worldwide butternut squash production.

Packaging

Common to fruits and vegetables of the same size or larger, butternut squash is usually sold without any type of packaging, primarily because its thick skin and rind already provide it with a layer of protection, keeping the flesh inside safe from any potential contamination while out on display. In some stores or groceries, you will see acorn squash individually wrapped in plastic wrap.

Enjoying Green Butternut Squashes

It is important to set your expectations when it comes to eating green butternut squash. Do not expect the same ripe sweetness common in ripe butternut squashes. The unripe green butternut squash will have a taste that is more on the savory side than sweet, so plan your dish and use ingredients that will bring out what a green butternut squash can offer in terms of flavor profile that is yummy and appealing.

Storage

If you plan to store green butternut squash, the first thing to consider is that the squash will ripen during storage. To keep the squash in good condition while in storage, find a place with a temperature ranging from 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storage tip: do not store green butternut squash – or any squash – with other fruits or vegetables especially those that release ethylene gas that can make the squash go bad fast.

You can store your squash for three to four months.

Cooking

Butternut squash is a botanical fruit used culinarily as a vegetable. It is roasted, sautéed, toasted, puréed, and mashed, Butternut squash is used in making soups, stews, casseroles – even breads, muffins, and pies.  In many different countries, it is not unusual to boil butternut squash and eat it like mashed potatoes.

In South Africa, it is a common culinary practice to grill a whole butternut squash and improve the flavor by adding cinnamon and nutmeg. In other countries, you’ll find them making a dish of stuffed butternut squash using feta and spinach. They wrap this in foil and put it on the grill. Many dishes are made using butternut squash – main dish, side dish, or starter dish.

What can you make using green butternut squash?

  • Fried green butternut squash
  • Breaded green butternut squash slices
  • Roasted green butternut squash slices
  • Tempura-style green butternut squash slices
  • Green butternut squash with apples, squash shoots, and purslane Creamy green butternut squash soup
  • Ratatouille

Nutritional Benefits
Butternut squash is a good source of fiber as well as vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. It is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. This is great low-calorie food. Eating butternut squash improves our chances of being able to fight off health problems like cancer and heart disease. And if we want to be in a good mental condition as we grow older, it is best to include butternut squash in our diet.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 82 4%
  • Carbs: 21.5g 7%
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g 0%
  • Protein: 1.8g 4%
  • Fat: 0.2g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 492mg 20%
  • Vitamin C 31mg 52%
  • Vitamin A 22869IU 457%
  • Calcium 84mg 8%
  • Iron 1.2mg 7%
  • Potassium 582mg 17%
  • Vitamin E 2.6mg 13%
  • Vitamin K 2.1mcg 3%
  • Vitamin B6 0.3mg 13%
  • Folate 38.9mcg 10%
  • Magnesium 59.4mg 15%
  • Phosphorus 55.4mg 6%
  • Zinc 0.3mg 2%

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