Butternut squash is a tasty winter vegetable that is grown from October to February. As they are not available all year round, it can be difficult to buy butternut squashes in other months. Still, if you leave them out for too long without a good storing method, your butternut can go bad.
How to tell if butternut squash is bad and what are the signs, then? How long exactly will it last? What is the best method to store and prolong its shelf life? If you are looking for answers to these questions, this post is for you! Read on now!
Does Butternut Squash Go Bad?
Yes, this winter squash can turn bad and rancid after some time, like every fresh fruit. Once it passes its life shelf, the squash will go through a natural spoilage process, meaning the fruit will rot before the molds and insects attack it. Therefore, it is very crucial to find out how long is butternut squash good for.
How Long Does A Butternut Squash Last?
Fresh butternut squash is a type of fruit that has a relatively long shelf life. So, how long does squash last? You can keep the whole butternut squash in your pantry or cabinet for up to one month without any bad signs.
It also depends on when you buy it. If you happen to get these winter squashes in April or May (which is not their harvest season), they are likely imported products that might not stay as long as your local butternut squash. Then, how long does butternut squash last in the fridge?
The temperature can also help butternut squash to last an extra month if your kitchen or storage is cold. The ideal temperature range should be 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this only works for uncut squash. Once you slice it, the life of butternut squash is down to only 5 or 6 days.
The squash shelf life is even shorter for cooked butternut squash, with only 1-2 hours at the normal temperature. If you store them in a cool condition, you can extend butternut squash shelf life up to 4-5 days.
How To Tell If Butternut Squash Is Bad?
Butternut squash is known for its smooth texture and delicious flavor in many soups, stews, and roasted recipes. Therefore, it is important to recognize and spot bad butternut squash to avoid spoiling your whole cooking plan.
How to know if butternut squash is bad? – Like looking for bad corn, you need to look at the overall look first. The texture of a matured butternut squash should be smooth with yellow-orange color.
If there is a noticeable roughness on its skin, it is likely that this butternut squash is deficient in nutrition or infected by pests. The skin’s bad condition can also be a sign of bad flesh, which affects your dish flavor tremendously.
When checking on the outer skin of butternut squash, it is also necessary to check any soft areas or marks on the vegetable. As the vegetable is delicate and fragile, any harsh movement during transportation and importation can leave some marks on the fresh butternut squash.
These marks and scratches are ideal for any mold, insect, or dirt to enter and infect the inside skin. This would lead to a rotting process which results in soft areas on the squash. Healthy fresh butternut squash should have firm and smooth skin.
Thus, wrinkles, marks, or scratches on the squash skin is another answer to the question “how to tell if a butternut squash is bad?.”
Another remarkable feature of healthy butternut squash is the weight. To be more specific, the average size of any type of squash should be about one pound. If it weighs too light or heavy, there could be some deficiency in nutrients in that fruit, and you should not use it for your dishes.
Now that you have taken a good look from the outside, it is time to peek inside of the fruit!
So, how to tell if cut butternut squash is bad? The fresh butternut flesh should have a firmness with stringy seeds’ section. If the butternut has brown spots, mushy areas, it means the spoilage process has already started.
In case there are only a few small rotten or mushy spots, you can always chop them off and keep the remaining flesh for your cooking. The flavor and texture won’t be so different from good butternut squash!
Nevertheless, another thing you should look for is a foul odor in pre-cut and cooked butternut squashes. The foul and off-putting smell can result from mold, which has infested the vegetable for a while. If there are white parts and a sour smell, do not hesitate to throw them away!
How To Tell If Yellow Squash Is Bad?
Yellow squash is another type of squash that you often see on the market. Then, how to tell if squash is bad? Like butternut squash, you can spot the bad yellow squash by looking at the overall look.
To ensure you choose a good yellow squash, you can check by looking for the stems of yellow squash. Normally, a good and healthy squash should have the stem attaching at the top.
If there is no stem, the squash is likely to be exposed to pest infection from the inside. It can also give an ideal entrance for mold and fungi, leading to food poisoning if you eat it.
Besides, a rotten yellow squash can also be spotted with a distorted shape. During storage and transportation, the squash can be mishandled, leading to bad vegetable quality. However, garden space can also be another reason for distorted shape, so it is necessary to check squashes carefully.
A healthy squash should have golden yellow skin when it is ripe. Any uneven and brown spots on the squash skin could mean it is rotting or infected by mold, fungi, and insects.
How To Tell If A Spaghetti Squash Is Bad?
Like yellow and butternut squashes, you can detect a bad spaghetti squash by its skin and stems.
Besides that, you can also check the rind of spaghetti squash. Good spaghetti squash should have a pale yellow, light orange, or ivory rind. If you spot any watery, cracked, shiny rind, dark or brown spots on the flesh, there is a high chance the rotting process has started, and you should discard it away.
How To Store Butternut Squash?
As you have learned about the shelf life of butternut squash and how to tell if the fruit is spoiled, here we are going to guide you about proper storing methods.
How to store cut butternut squash? Similar to store summer squash, butternut squash is best kept at a temperature range of 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, finding a cellar or storage room with that temperature is a great idea if you want to keep their freshness longer.
Suppose you don’t have such conditions in your kitchen, don’t worry; you can always put them in your refrigerator or freezer.
Does squash need to be refrigerated? Technically, it is not a good method as the vegetable’s texture can change after a long period. To refrigerate squash, you need to:
- Remove the squash’s rind and slice it into pieces. This can help to keep the texture and freshness of the fruit.
- You can put those slices into an airtight container. Besides, how long does squash last in the fridge? – You can leave them inside the fridge for up to 7 days.
Can you freeze butternut squash? Yes, the fruit can last longer with this method. Freezing squash slices are also very convenient for future cooking. So, how to do it?
- Use an airtight container or freezer bag and put all your butternut squash portions inside. It is recommended to divide them into portions so you can thaw them easily.
- Then, put them inside your freezer (use within 6-12 months).
1. How To Cook Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a great ingredient for providing nutrients and flavor to your meal. You can roast, steam, boil, and bake diced butternuts for a creamy and flavorful dish.
2. Why Is My Squash Bitter?
It is common to find your squash bitter due to a high concentration of cucurbitacin, a popular chemical in the Cucurbit family.
Due to the butternut squash taste, it is a key ingredient for many homemade delicious dishes. But the fruit can go bad easily without proper storage. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to tell if butternut squash is bad to prevent any bad-tasting experience from your dishes and risk of food poisoning! Thank you for reading!