This page shows how to dehydrate butternut squash using fresh squash. Out of season, dehydrating butternut squash that's frozen works, too. All you have to do is steam it for eight minutes first. Use dehydrated butternut squash cubes in backpacking meals, or make butternut squash soup and dry it into powder. Either way, butternut squash adds color, flavor, texture, and lots of vitamin A to your trail diet.
Butternut Squash is a top source of vitamin A, and is high in vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
Photo above: Butternut squash cut into ½-inch slices and cubed.
Peel squash and cut into four parts. Cut crosswise in the middle first, and then cut the two halves the long way. This will give you stabilized flat edges to make it safer for slicing. Remove seeds and stringy parts.
Cut the four parts into slices about half-an-inch thick. Then, cut the slices into half-inch cubes. Because the squash may be slippery, it’s safer to cut one slice at a time into cubes, rather than trying to cut through two or more slices stacked on top of each other.
If using frozen butternut squash chunks, reduce size to half-inch cubes.
Steam butternut squash cubes until soft, but not mushy, about eight minutes.
Dehydrate butternut squash cubes @ 135° F (57° C) for approximately eight hours. Cut a few of the larger dried cubes in half to check dryness.
Store in an airtight container after dried butternut squash has completely cooled.
Photo above: Cubed butternut squash after dehydrating.
Dehydrated butternut squash rehydrates well in backpacking meals. It has a soft texture, like sweet potatoes, and it adds a nice orange color. One way to use it in meals is to include it with the vegetable portion. In the meal show below, I used a combination of dried butternut squash, dried San Marzano tomatoes, and dried green beans, to make up the half-cup vegetable portion.
Photo above: Dehydrated butternut squash cubes combined with other dried ingredients makes a tasty Butternut Squash Stew.
1 Large Serving
* Vegetarians may wish to substitute dehydrated green lentils for meat.
** See soup recipe below. Soup powder makes a great sauce, too.
On the Trail:
Combine all ingredients with 1¾ cups water in pot. Let soak five minutes, then bring to a boil for one minute. Transfer pot to an insulating pot cozy and wait fifteen minutes. This meal can also be prepared in a thermos food jar. Just add boiled water to the ingredients in the thermos and wait thirty minutes up to several hours.
Servings: 3 – 4
Photo above: Butternut Squash Soup cooking in pot. Run it through a blender after it cools.
Dissolve a vegetable bouillon cube in four cups of warm water.
Peel and cut butternut squash into cubes. Dice onion, mince garlic and ginger.
Coat the bottom of a large soup pot lightly with cooking oil. Cook onions, stirring frequently. Add spoonfuls of the vegetable stock to onions to keep them from burning. After ten to fifteen minutes, the onions will be nicely caramelized.
Add garlic and ginger, and continue cooking another five minutes.
Add the butternut squash and all seasonings with a little of the vegetable stock to coat. Stir together for five minutes, then add the rest of the vegetable stock.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for twenty minutes.
Once soup has cooled, run it through a blender until smooth.
Spread blended butternut soup thinly on dehydrator trays covered with non-stick sheets. This recipe yields between five and six cups of wet soup, depending on the size of the squash used. One-and-a-quarter cups is a good quantity to spread on a tray if using an Excalibur dehydrator.
Photo above: (l) Butternut squash soup spread thinly on Excalibur dehydrator tray. (r) Dried soup flipped over directly on mesh sheet.
Dehydrate @ 135° F (57° C) for approximately ten hours. After eight or nine hours, when the soup is nearly dry, flip the trays over, peel off the non-stick sheets, and continue drying directly on the mesh sheets. Dried butternut squash soup will be brittle and easy to snap into smaller pieces.
Photo above: (l) Butternut squash soup bark, and (r) powder.
Break dried soup bark into smaller pieces and grind into powder in a blender. This recipe yields between eleven and thirteen tablespoons of soup powder.
Photo above: Butternut Squash Soup rehydrated from powder.
On the Trail:
Regular Serving: Combine three tablespoons of soup powder with one-and-a-half cups of water. Bring to a boil for one minute, then transfer pot to an insulating pot cozy for ten minutes. Soup may similarly be prepared in a thermos by adding boiled water to the soup powder.
Large Serving: Four tablespoons of soup powder with two cups of water.
The topic of dehydrating butternut squash is included in Recipes for Adventure II: The Best of Trail Bytes.
This recipe is the same as pumpkin pie bark and pudding, except that butternut squash is used in place of canned pumpkin.
Photo above: Butternut Squash Pudding rehydrated from powder.
Servings: 2 – 3
Bring butternut squash cubes to a boil in apple juice and water with salt and spices. Reduce heat to low and simmer about ten minutes until butternut squash is soft. Allow to cool, stir in maple syrup, and run mixture through a blender until smooth. Spread thinly on dehydrator trays covered with non-stick sheets.
Dehydrate @ at 135° F (57° C) for approximately eight to ten hours. When bark is almost dry, flip over, peel away the non-stick sheets, and finish drying directly on the mesh sheets.
Dehydrated butternut squash bark can be eaten like a chip for a sweet trail snack, or it can be rehydrated with hot or cold water into pudding. If you want to use it exclusively for pudding, you can grind it into powder for faster rehydration.
On the Trail:
Stir vigorously, reconstitutes in ten to fifteen minutes; faster in hot water.