As someone whose finicky digestive system prevents them from enjoying many foods, I love discovering a new fruit or vegetable that I can both eat and enjoy. Last year, I discovered red kuri squash, and Eric was determined that we’d grow it in our garden over the summer from the seeds we saved.
I thought it’d be a fun experiment, but I wasn’t expecting to harvest much, given that we’d only saved about a dozen seeds. Oh was I wrong! We had at least a dozen squashes ripen before the first frost and were able to save most of them from being munched by backyard critters.
We cooked a few of them up in soup while at school this fall and roasted and froze the rest when we got home–and saved the seeds for next year! It’s incredibly easy and also pretty cool to be able to grow this veggie without having to buy anything. Plus, kuri squash is as healthy as it is tasty: it’s high in vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron. So let’s get to the recipe! 🙂
Step one: Preheat the oven to 350F and get out your materials. You’ll need two cookie sheets, a cutting board, a large knife, parchment paper, a bowl and spoon, and two medium kuri squashes. You’re most likely to be able to find red kuri squash at markets or in grocery stores in the fall, as that’s when they’re in season.
Step two: Slice off the little bump and stem on top of the squash. Then cut it into quarters.
Step three: Using a metal spoon, scoop out the soft interior with the seeds into a bowl. If your squash is underripe, you might need a sharp knife to help you get everything out.
Step four: Pop your squash in the oven for about half an hour. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the rind. It’s done when the corners are just beginning to brown and the squash is soft as tested with a knife.
Step five: This is the most tedious step (unless you have a boyfriend who really enjoys doing it :P). While the squash is cooking, empty the bowl of seed stuff onto your cutting board and pop the seeds out of the squash. Remember, you only need to save as many as you think you’ll plant!
Step six: Line the second cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread your seeds out on it. Don’t wash them, as there’s a chance water will get inside and mold, or heat them, as they can denature and then they won’t germinate. Then place the pan somewhere it won’t be disturbed and let it sit in the open air for three to four days. The slimy squash stuff on the outside will dry so as not to be able to mold. Store until ready to plant!
Step seven: Once cool, eat or save the squash however you’d like! It’s really tasty paired with bacon or eggs for breakfast (or brinner :D) or in this soup, among other recipes. It keeps in the fridge for a week or you can scrape the squash out of the skin and freeze it for future use.
Are you a red kuri squash fan–or have you tried it before? And what’s your latest new fruit or veggie discovery? 🙂