One thing I love about gardening (okay, I’ll let you in on a picture of “the guys” working in our yard a few weeks ago, expanding some of our beds), is that if you plan it right and think ahead, you can utilize all of the produce, even if that means cutting it up and freezing for future use.

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(And yes that’s Haggis, our Cairn, coming your way.)

When we made German Potato Butternut Sausage Soup last week, we actually used some of our butternut squash that we pulled from the garden in the fall!

Can you believe that? That’s because we kept it in a cool place all winter long.

My husband recently reminded me that butternut, which used to be the “ugly cousin” in the garden, is now the “rockstar” squash. Everyone wants to grow it and cook with it!

I thought that was so funny, yet so true.

Butternut is the rage right now. I mean, even Costco sells it in bulk in their refrigerated section already peeled and cut. And every cookbook and magazine around has a butternut squash recipe, it seems. (I’ll be posting my favorite Butternut Risotto recipe later this week.)

Here’s some facts about butternut squash that you may not know:

-Butternut is a winter squash.

-It can be stored for most of the winter in a cool dry place.

-When you only need part of it for a meal, cook the whole thing and then freeze (airtight container or zip bag) the leftovers.

-You can peel, cut it up, Ziploc it, and freeze it raw.

-You can make soup ahead of time and freeze, or freeze the puree.

-So many options!

-The longer it sits, the flavor actually comes out more. Yummy!

Roasting Butternut Squash
Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly oil a shallow baking pan. Peel the squash and cut into 1″ pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. (For a little sweetness, a tiny bit of maple syrup.) Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until softened.

What’s your favorite way to cook with butternut squash?

Or what squash do you cook the most with?