Banana Squash, What Is It

Banana squashes are native to South America, specifically Peru, and made its way to the United States in 1893. They require over half a year to cultivate and only yield one crop. This makes them less desirable for farmers, which makes the squash less available in produce stores.

A banana squash is a winter squash. It is yellow/orange in color (when ripe, it is salmon colored) and is about 2 to 3 feet long. It smells like a cucumber, the meat looks similar to a pumpkin, but it has its own flavor. It can weigh up to 35lbs but is generally around 10lbs.

They are fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, and an excellent source of vitamin A and C. They can be stored up to six months if in a dark, low humid environment and can be used in the same way as any other winter squash. It makes great stews, soups, and salad toppings. It pairs great with butter, cheese, lamb, pork belly and truffles. The best herbs/spices to use are the ones we love for winter: thyme, bay, sage, rosemary, cumin, curry, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

I had no idea what to do with a banana squash when I purchased it. The following recipes were my first attempt at using a banana squash and were followed with rave reviews from family and friends. I hope you enjoy!

Banana Squash Pie

First, wash the squash and then cut the ends off. Use a serrated knife to keep from slicing your hand. Cut into pieces and scoop out the seeds. Keeping the pieces as big as you can, put them in a microwaveable bowl. You may have to do this several times in order to get all of them done. Put two inches of water in the bowl and then put the lid on. Now place in the microwave for approximately 12 minutes (until the squash is soft).

Take the squash out and scoop out the meat. It is OK to let it cool before scooping. The squash will yield more than enough, so you don’t have to be overly precise. Blend the squash (I used a food processor but you can also use a blender).

Now your squash is ready for the recipe.

3 cups squash puree

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 can evaporated milk

2 graham cracker pie crusts

Mix it all together and put in pie crusts. The mixture is very liquid, that is OK.

Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Then turn temp to 350F and cook around 60 minutes. You test done-ness by inserting butter knife or toothpick and it coming out clean.

*************************************************************

Banana Squash-Raisin-Walnut Bread

I had left over squash. So I made some bread.

Rest of squash

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 can evaporated milk

3 cups Bisquick

Chopped walnuts

Raisins

Mix together and put in bread pans. Cook at 350F for 40 minutes.

Freezing Option

It is possible to retain some of the Banana Squash meat in the freezer, but not for too long. Take the meat out of the skin and put in a vacuum seal bag. Don’t have a vacuum sealer? No problem! Put it in a ziploc bag. Place a straw in the bag and seal it up (straw will be poking out). Suck out the air, pull the straw out and seal the bag. This isn’t as good as vacuum sealing, but works pretty well!

Laura is an author, writer, consultant, photographer, homeschool mom, Mary Kay consultant and Army wife. Her passions in writing are in food/health, Christian persecution and children’s curriculum. Laura loves to travel, volunteer, photograph, cook, and learn as much as she can about everything! Connect with her at http://www.LDMurray.com.

Because of health issues and special diets in her family, Laura has learned how to eat healthy while keeping the expense down and the taste elevated. She strives to reach out to those that have special diet requirements, are looking for alternative solutions to medicine, and/or just trying to be healthy with a budget.