Below, right, is a photo of honeynut squash taken besides butternut squash.
Honeynut Squash is a new hybrid variety developed by Cornell University. It’s a cross between butternut and buttercup squash and is bred specifically for its flavour and size. It’s development took nearly thirty years of collaboration between universities and seed companies. (Speciality Produce)
It has the traditional bell shape of the butternut squash with a short bulbous bottom. It’s very small compared to a regular butternut squash, 4-5 inch (10-13 cm) long and weighs 450-675g (1-1½ pounds).
Immature honeynut squash is green but as it matures and ripens, the colour turns from green to mottled orange with streaks of dark green to fully orange when ripe.
After harvesting it’s cured in a temperature controlled setting to allow the skin (rind) to harden and the starch to be converted into sugars. The skin is thin like delicata squash and is edible, so there is no need to peel it before cooking.
It has a sweeter, deeper coloured firm and moist flesh. The flavour is described as sweet and nutty with caramel and malt-like flavour. (Speciality Produce)
How to cook honeynut squash
The best cooking method is roasting because it allows the sugars in the flesh to caramelize.
Wash and cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a roasting pan, cut side up and drizzle with some olive oil. Give a grinding of salt and pepper and roast at 400F for about 20-30 minutes or until cooked through and tender.
The flesh is is extremely moist and soft at first I didn’t like it but after 5 scoops I started enjoying it. I roasted one with maple syrup and another one with salt and freshly ground pepper. I love the pepper one most.
Nutrition of Honeynut Squash
It’s an excellent source of vitamin A and has twice the amount of beta carotene found in a traditional butternut squash.
It’s also a good source of B-complex vitamins like folate, niacin, and riboflavin. It also contains iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. (Speciality Produce)
Culinary Use of Honeynut Squash
- It can be added to soups, stews and casseroles or braising liquids.
- It can be roasted and added to salads and other preparations, or pureed into soups, or mashed like potato
How to Store Honeynut Squash
Store up to one month in a cool dry place. Cut and diced squash can keep in the fridge for one week or be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Availability of Honeynut Squash
They are harvested late September through to October. I bough mine at my local grocery store (Zehrs). They are not widely available like butternut squash which is more abundant.