I had a dear friend bestow upon me several Cushaw Squash. These are huge things usually used for fall decorations and can often be found free along with pumpkins that people want to get rid of after Halloween. (It is easy to find free pumpkins and squash this time of year. My hubby once found a 30lb pumpkin tossed along a running path. He brought it home and we cut it up and we canned several quarts of pumpkin, along with roasting the seeds…We have a motto in our home, never pass up free food!)
Cushaw squash is very mild in flavor and somewhat like a spaghetti squash in taste. And they can be massive in size, which means that is a LOT of squash to contend with; but is it really?
These types of mild flavored squash (and there are several) have all kinds of uses. My daughter was selling zucchini breads last summer at the farmers market. The Cushaw is a very good replacement for zucchini. It comes out a bit drier but that might not be a problem because this bread will make a peanut butter and honey sandwich that won’t fall apart in the making. It makes a nice solid slice-able bread.
3/4 cup grated squash
1/2 c melted butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 coconut flour
Mix it all up in a bowl, pour into a bread pan lined with greased parchment paper, bake at 350 for about an hour until a knife comes out clean.
What else can one do with a Cushaw?
For starters, this is what I do with any of these “large” squash whether it be a Cushaw or a Blue Hubbard. I cut them open, rake out the seeds and then I peel them. After I peel them I put the peeled slices in a zipper bag and store it in the refrigerator for use throughout the week. A few minutes of prep time gives me a week’s worth of at hand food to cook with. Because these squash are so mild in flavor they take on the flavors that you add to them thus giving you an affordable way to stretch your food budget.
As I am cooking throughout the week I incorporate these squash into my meals. Here are some ideas:
Fry bacon, then cook the squash in the grease along with some onions. Then crumble up the bacon, top with your favorite cheese
Use it like rice-cook ground beef, onions, and the squash then put in your favorite Mexican seasonings, or add your favorite Indian seasonings and top it yogurt cheese. Or to make it Italian in flavor add basil and tomatoes. This concept is limitless and by peeling the squash in advance you have a ready made and fast meal at your finger tips.
Chop them up and fry them along with mushrooms and peppers.
Add them to leftover chicken and smother with tomatoes.
Cook by themselves in butter and coconut oil, smash them up and add some yogurt and Parmesan cheese, a light pinch of nutmeg, and salt. Yum, this one is akin to risotto and is a delight!
As the weather is cooling off in this region, it is time for more soups. This squash is being tossed into all kinds of soups. It blends up well with other veggies and it also adds a nice texture to chunky soups.
Squash is one of the main food groups for GAPS/SCD because it is high in fiber and very good at fleshing out a meal. It is easy on the tummy and very affordable. So do not neglect this squash because it seems overwhelming in size.