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Idaho Winter Squash

Winter squashes come in several different sizes, shapes, colors, and varieties. The most common winter squash varieties include acorn, banana, butternut, delicata, and spaghetti. Winter squashes have a hard outer rind and orange or light yellow flesh on the inside. Since they ripen later in the growing season, they have a longer shelf life and make a great staple in winter-early spring when other local vegetables are hard to come by.

Unlike summer squashes, the rind on winter squash is hard and inedible. Choose winter squashes that have a hard rind, feel heavy, and have no soft spots. Store winter squash for several months in a cool pantry, cabinet, garage, or basement.

butternut squash on white background
Winter Squash

Winter Squash Basics

What To Look For: Shop for winter squash based on an even color, a hard rind, firmness, and one that feels heavy for its size.  Avoid squash with soft spots, dull and wrinkled skin, or feels light for its size.

How to Store: When storing winter squash directly from your garden, allow the squash to cure for 10 to 14 days. (Curing is not recommended for acorn squash varieties.) Curing simply means storing winter squash at a warm temperature with good air circulation. Curing the squash allows excess water to dissipate, which makes the rinds harder for storing, reduces rot, and concentrates the vegetable’s natural sweetness. After your squash has cured, store it in a cool, dry place.

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