Canning Spaghetti Squash: Winter Squashes And Pumpkins
It’s that bittersweet time of year again…
Summer is receding with fall already in full swing.
If you like to store up plenty of veg to use throughout the year, perhaps canning spaghetti squash is something currently on your mind…
This versatile vegetable offers you a wealth of choice when taken to the kitchen. From pie and butternut squash custards through to stuffed squash, muffins and pancakes, imagination is your only limitation.
Squash might be prone to pests attacking it and awkward to bring to the table but it’s well worth the time and effort involved.
There are many different kinds of winter squash beyond the spaghetti variety.
- Acorn squash: This type of squash is round with either orange or dark green on the outside. You can bake it or use it along with some nutty stuffing
- Buttercup squash: This hard-shelled squash is shaped rather like a turban. Its’s particularly sweet. You can bake or steam this in your recipes. It can also be used as a substitute for sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash: Yellow and similar to a pear in terms of dimensions, butternut squash should be your go-to for mashing
- Hubbard squash: This squash grows very large. If you buy it in a store, it’s often carved up into pieces. You can mash it or pop it in soups, bread, muffins or pancakes. Hubbard squash is really versatile
- Spaghetti squash: Spaghetti squash is a creamy yellow color. It’s oblong with a mild flavor. It can be served as a replacement for pasta
Canning Spaghetti Squash: Why Use This Method?
Storing squash in a cupboard or cellar is fine for a short time but it soon begins to lose its luster. It can actually remain in decent condition for 2-3 months if stashed in a cool, dry place. Aim for temperatures of 40-50 degrees F if you plan to do this. Do not wash it before storing either.
It is not advisable to freeze squash but it can be refrigerated if you plan to use it within a week. If you keep squash in the fridge, be certain to keep it well away from raw meat. The juices can contaminate the squash quite easily.
Canning spaghetti squash and other types of this powerhouse vegetable is perhaps the best method to choose.
Just about all kinds of squash are suitable for canning. Since they are low-acid foods, you need to process them with a pressure canner. You can make do with a pressure cooker if you do not have the correct canner in place.
Trying to full explain how to use a pressure canner would take thousands of words. If you are curious about what these wonderful devices can do, check out this excellent video.
Canned squash will last for up to a year as long as the seal remains vacuum-tight.
Preparing To Can Squash
If you are going to bake or stew large squashes, you will need to cut them up first.
Since they give off their own liquid when roasting, you need only add a small amount of water.
Now assemble the equipment you will need for canning…
- Pressure canner
- Large pot or roaster, ideally enamel
- Wooden spoon
- Knives (regular and serrated)
- Jar lifter
- Canning jars
- Towels or large board for cooling jars
How Do I Go About Canning Spaghetti Squash?
1) Washing and Cutting Your Squash
- Clean your squash using a clean cloth and tap water
- Cut the squash up into pieces
- If you are dealing with pumpkins, this great article outlines how to carve them up fuss-free
2) Cooking The Squash or Pumpkin
- For pumpkin, bake or stew. Remember to go easy on the water
- With squash, pop the pieces in a roaster and bake until nicely tender
- Make sure to allow the squash to cool for an hour before starting to handle it
3) Get Your Jars and Canning Equipment Ready
- Wash all your jars. Sterilize them if necessary
- Check all jars for cracks, chips, rusting or misaligned lids
- Either simmer your lids – do not boil them – or pour some boiling water over them in a small saucepan
- Pour about 2 quarts of water into your pressure canner and start heating it up
- If you want to avoid stains from hard water on your canner and jars, add a splash of vinegar
4) Packing The Squash Pulp Into Jars
- Spaghetti squash will ladle into the jars easily if you use a wooden spoon. For some other varieties, a canning funnel is preferable
- Use the handle of your wooden spoon to tamp down any thickened pieces. With pumpkin, make sure to do this repeatedly. It will stop any damaging air bubbles from forming
- Fill the jars up to a half-inch from the top
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth and screw up firmly without overdoing it
5) Processing Your Squash In a Pressure Canner
- Pop all the filled jars in a canner rack
- Fasten the lid. Note: with older pressure canners, you might need to screw down some knobs to achieve this
- Heat on LOW or MEDIUM until you can see the steam vent hissing and spitting
- After 10 minutes, place on the weight to give 10 pounds of pressure
- Process for 70-80 minutes, turn off the heat and allow everything to completely cool down
6) Cooling and Storage
- Wait for the pressure gauge to return to zero before removing the weight
- Use a jar lifter to safely grab each of your jars from the pressure canner
- Leave all the finished and canned squash on a towel away from any drafts. Allow them to sit here overnight
Eating seasonal vegetables is a superb way to inject a wide range of different foods into your diet while always ensuring that you have fresh produce.
With squash, though, it works so well when it is canned and saved in jars that there is no reason not to enjoy this year round.
If you have any questions on canning spaghetti squash or any other issues, please get in touch. We will get back to you as promptly as possible.