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Buttercup Squash are part of the Turban squash family (hard shells with turban-like shapes) and are a popular variety of winter squash. Unlike summer squash (which are picked when immature and skins are tender), Buttercup Squash have hard, thick skins and only the flesh is eaten. The deep yellow to orange meat (reminiscent of sweet potato) is firmer than summer squash and require longer cooking. Once the seeds are removed, Buttercup Squash can be baked, mashed, pureed, steamed, simmered, or stuffed and can replace Sweet Potatoes in most recipes.
Choose squash that have a hard, deep-colored rind free of blemishes or moldy spots. Tender skin indicates immaturity or poor quality. The hard skin protects the flesh and allows it to store longer than summer squash. Store Buttercup Squash in a cool, preferably dark, well-ventilated area for up to two months. Wrap cut pieces in plastic and refrigerate up to five days.
Buttercup Squash may be cooked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). Pierce whole squash in several places, and bake halved squash hollow side up.
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