Nebraska Farm to Preschool Toolkit

Winter Squash

Winter Squash is in season in Nebraska August through November.  Popular varieties in Nebraska are Sweet Pumpkin, Acorn, Butternut, Buttercup, Banana, Delicata, Hubbard, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Turban and Sweet Dumpling.

Fun Facts about winter squash: Did you know? …

  • Squash are uniquely an American crop bred by the Indigenous people more than 10,000 years ago and then spread worldwide in the 1500’s.
  • There are two types of squash: summer and winter.
  • Summer squash are picked when immature and the skins can be eaten; winter squash are picked when completely mature and have hard thick rinds.
  • Most winter squashes are harvested in the fall but get their name because they have long shelf lives and can be consumed during the winter months.
  • Squash is in the gourd family and related to melons.
  • Squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
  • One cup of cubed butternut squash has more than 100 percent of daily recommended value of Vitamin A for people ages 51 and older.
  • A one cup serving of butternut squash contains almost 500 mg of potassium, which can help decrease your blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium in your diet.
  • Squashes are inexpensive, versatile, and easy to prepare

Winter Squash is featured in the Nebraska Harvest of the Month  curriculum along with other produce available seasonally in Nebraska. The curriculum includes newsletters, posters, recipes, taste tests, coloring sheets and other activities. Click on the link to download materials.

Storage: store in a cool dry place

Ways to Prepare:  grill, roast, sauté, steam, air fry, instant pot, and puree.

Other Uses: soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, in hash, baked items, baked seeds

Prepping Tips:

  • Rinse off dirt
  • Can soften skin by microwaving whole squash for 3 minutes, flip halfway through
  • Use a sharp chef’s knife
  • Peel skin for slices or cubes; leave skin on if baking quarters or halves
  • Cut off top and bottom of elongated squashes and then halve horizontally
  • Cut stem off round squashes and then halve horizontally or vertically
  • Scoop out seeds
  • For slices or cubes: chop elongated quashes lengthwise for slices; chop slices horizontally to make cubes


Easy Grilled Squash

Pumpkin and Chicken Sausage Hash

WG Pumpkin Pancakes

Orange Honeyed Acorn Squash

Butter Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Bread

Central Valley Harvest Bake

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew

Squash Soup

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Lesson Plans and Activities

 Nebraska Crunch Off

Updated February 14, 2023 1:08pm