Butternut Squash

Age of Introduction for Baby|  6 months
(Baby Serving Suggestions chart based on age, below)

Yield|  2-lb. package peeled, cubed butternut squash* + 1/2 cup water =
 3-1/2 cups puree (28 cubes)

Storage|  Cut squash/puree – Refrigerator 5 days. 
Freezer 4 months.

Prep Time| 
20-30 minutes (includes cook and cool time)

Choose|  See below*.

Option 1
(fast): Place cubed squash and water in a microwave safe dish and cover with plastic wrap or glass plate.  Steam on full power 10-15 minutes, stirring periodically, until soft and easily pierced with a fork.  Cool 5-10 minutes. 
Option 2 (takes longer but not hands-on): Place cut squash (peeled or unpeeled) on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until easily pierced with fork at thickest point. Smaller pieces = shorter cooking time. 

Puree | Working in batches, place some of the squash pieces and some of the water (using the same water used for cooking helps preserve some of the nutrients) into food processor container and pulse until smooth, adding additional water as necessary.

Serve|  See Related Recipes below this chart. 

Baby Food Puree Serving Suggestions |
The sequence of baby ages is listed to show the appropriate stages of introduction for foods that pair well with butternut squash puree.  All of the suggestions for 8 months and older are also appropriate for older children and adults.   

6 months Rice or oat cereal
Pear puree
7 months Rice, oat, or multigrain cereal
Split pea puree
Carrot puree
Cooked celery, mashed, strings removed
Any suggestion from 6 months
8 months Brown rice
Whole grain pasta, mashed or diced
Whole milk yogurt
Egg yolk, hard boiled or scrambled
Any suggestion from 6-7 months
9 months Zucchini, cooked, finely shredded or diced
Yellow squash, cooked, finely diced
Onion, cooked, finely diced
Any suggestion from 6-8 months
10 months Carrots, raw, finely shredded
Bell peppers, cooked, diced
Ground beef or turkey
Any suggestions from 6-9 months
12 months Peas, whole
Spinach, raw, finely chopped
Any suggestions from 6-10 months
15 months Chicken, cooked, diced
Any suggestions from 6-12 months

Related Recipes|  On this site: Savory Butternut Cheese SauceCreamy & Comforting Baked Mac-n-Cheese – Golden Sunrise Apricot Muffins

Related Recipes |  Whole Grain Baking Cookbook:
Golden Apricot Pancakes

Main Nutrients|  Vitamin A – Vitamin C – B vitamins – Folate – Vitamin E

*Using precut squash saves an enormous amount of time.  While it may seem expensive, it is fairly comparable to whole squash when accounting for the weight of shell and seeds, which will be discarded, in price-per-oz. comparison.  You may agree that the time saved is far more beneficial than the minimal monetary savings here. 

However, if you prefer to prepare whole squash:  Choose uniformly colored, heavy-for-size squash with no pits or cracks in shell.

Wash squash, cut off top w/ stem, cut into sections, and scrape out seeds and strings.  Line baking pan (glass cake pan works well) with aluminum foil to help with cleanup.  Place squash pieces into pan cut-side-up and bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 50 minutes, depending on size of pieces.  Cook until very easy to pierce with fork at the thickest portion.  When cool enough to handle, scoop cooked squash from shell or use a knife to trim shell away, then puree in batches as noted above.


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