April Powders & Signs of Spring

April 19, 2023

I enjoy metaphors, so when I was determined one particular autumn afternoon to use an entire butternut squash, the idea for this site was born.

Although I have for years looked for ways to reuse and reduce waste, I felt that by challenging myself I would dig deeper into finding a purpose for items that were previously believed to be unusable.

About thewholesquash

Not unlike many life events, thewholesquash has its origins in both literal and figurative happenings. The discovery that an entire squash from skin to seeds can be eaten became a metaphor and inspiration for this site.

So it is true with many of the things we have been given, including other foods, our possessions, our relationships, and ourselves. What parts do we discard, thinking that they are unworthy or unuseful, when we perhaps need to broaden our perspectives and look beyond the familiar and the safe. What can we learn to save, conserve, or use differently to increase potential? Stories here are about solving problems and following paths using creative, innovative, and perhaps unexpected ways. Every one of us, no matter where we find ourselves, can start where we are. We are all works in progress. We are all on a journey.

I had a great time with the squash, and was quite proud when I finished that I created all edible items from the entire vegetable. If you’re intrigued, here is how to do it:

Start with a clean, scrubbed squash, ideally organically grown. Mine came from my own garden, where I use only a homemade concoction to keep the deer away and food-grade diatomaceous earth for cabbage moths and squash beetles. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and cut the squash in half. Scoop out the pulp and seeds into a bag or container, and place in the freezer. Place the squash, cut sides down, in a baking pan and add water to a level of one-half inch to an inch deep. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a fork is easily inserted into the rind. Scoop out the flesh and enjoy it as it, seasoned to your taste, or in a favorite recipe. Once the pulp and the seeds are slightly frozen, the seeds can more easily be plucked out with the tip of a paring knife. Toss the seeds with a little vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and crispy. The pulp I used by pureeing it and then in doughnuts or muffins, much as you would use canned pumpkin, and the flavor for me was indistinguishable. But what about the rind....well, this is the condensed version. There were actually TWO squash involved in this process. The first squash had its outer rind removed by using a vegetable peeler, then baked into crispy, curly squash snacks. I'm dedicated, but I have to confess that it was a tedious process and so I looked for another way. The second squash was baked as above, and then when the seeds and pulp were scooped out, I cut the rind into smaller pieces, brushed with oil and sprinkled with salt, and re-baked. The result? Tasty squash rind "chips" that were definitely a win. Full disclosure: I had to throw the stem into my compost. But I think the experiment went well and it inspired me to do more. What are ways that you use "the whole squash" - either an actual squash or something completely different? Send an email at the address below, or leave a comment on one of the posts.