Cucurbits can be stored for many months, which allows them to be consumed throughout the winter and even until the middle of spring. But for that, it is still necessary to respect the good storage conditions so that these good big fruits of the garden keep as long as possible without losing their quality. Best harvest period, choice of location: every detail counts. But there are other ways to store squash over the winter. That’s what we’re going to see.
Which cucurbits keep well in winter?
These garden products generally keep well, which allows them to be consumed after harvest as needed. But some of them stand out from the others because their storage time is particularly long. It’s about :
- Siam squash or angel hair which breaks all records with a possible storage time of up to 2 years,
- Butternut squash from Provence, 6 to 9 months,
- Pumpkin, 6 months,
- Pumpkin Tristar or Triamble, 6 months,
- Potimarron, 6 months,
- Spaghetti squash, 5 months,
- Olive squash, 4 to 5 months, but it doesn’t mature until January…
Of course, these durations can be reduced if the cucurbits are not kept in ideal conditions.
The best conditions for storing squash, pumpkins and other pumpkins
Cucurbitaceae are fruits that form a large family of 800 species and are distinguished by their size, shapes, colors, pleasant flavor and benefits for the body. Some are harvested during the summer, such as cucumber, watermelon, melon, squash, but many cucurbits are end of year fruits that the where harvest between October and January.
Plants usually give profusely. It is therefore essential to know how to keep all the squash so as not to lose them. Their preservation can only be perfect and last over time if the following points are respected.
Harvest squash when ripe
This is essential to keep them for a long time. All these fruits are harvested as needed as long as it doesn’t freeze. But be careful, they will all have to be harvested before the temperatures are negative.
It is easy to recognize a perfectly ripe squash: its stem and peduncle are dry, its leaves are yellow.
Know how to handle squash
Note that a long storage time is achieved if the squashes are delicately handled when harvested and have no spots or sores. To separate the fruit from the foot, you must use perfectly sharpened and disinfected shears. We cut the peduncle at 6 cm because it must stay attached at the squash.
Clean squash before storing
To keep well, cucurbits must be clean. We pass them with clear water then we wipe them perfectly with a soft and clean cloth. In good weather, it is quite possible to put them on a table outside so that the sun dries them. Then just store them in a suitable place.
Squash storage conditions
They must spend the winter in a room with or without window, clean, dry, well ventilated, where the temperature is between between 15 and 20°C. The squash should be gently placed on a table or shelf, stem side up, and spaced from each other because they are damaged if they are in contact.
Storing cooked squash
You can put the cucurbits from the garden in jars to keep them all winter in their cooking juices, or even cook them and then freeze in order to consume them in puree afterwards. Pumpkins, gourds and other squash can also be frozen raw once their skin has been removed and cut into cubes, but it is better to serve them in soup because they tend to release a lot of water when defrosting.
Note that the pumpkin peelings do not throw away since you can make delicious jams. As for the seeds of Pumpkin, Siamese Squash, Butternut Squash or even Pumpkin, they can also be eaten and are very good for your health. Finally everything (or almost) can be eaten in… squash!