What is butternut squash?
Most of you are already familiar with this musky winter vegetable and already using it in soups and purees and risottos. Let us, give you a deeper insight into the vast qualities of this vegetable.
A quick table comparison:
|Name of Peeler||Brand||Y-Peeler?|
|OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler||OXO||Yes|
|OXO Good Grips Y-peeler||OXO||Yes|
|Uoline Julienne Peeler (add-ons inside)||Uoline||Yes|
Butternut squash (scientific name: Cucurbita Moschata) belongs to the family of pumpkins and somewhat resembles it too, in shape, size, and taste. It grows on vines, with a yellow-orange tough exterior and slight softer golden orange-yellow inside.
Usually, it is giant and pear-shaped with a thick elongated neck and wider bowl-shaped bulb-like base which has a network of seeds within.
Though the shape may vary one common feature in all these winter squashes is that they have a tough outer mostly smooth coat and are heavy.
Almost all the butternut squash including its plant, fruit, leaves, flowers, and seeds are consumed in a variety of ways and methods.
All about Butternut Squash
The Benefits and Usage and Popularity
The mildly sweet, intense and nutty flavor of this vegetable is highly liked by foodies all around the world and is almost a staple ingredient in most Australian and Japanese cuisines.
This is used in savory dishes but can also, serve as a component in sweet dishes. It can be pureed, roasted, grilled, steamed, baked, boiled, deep fried, barbequed, roasted, mashed, and most importantly used as a substitute for pumpkin in pumpkin dishes.
Butternut Squash can marriage well with almost any spice blend whether it is cinnamon, paprika or others such as nutmeg, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup or even brown sugar!
So whether it is a soup or a risotto or pasta, use your very own butternut squash. Go wild! Do your thing, come up with something amazing, something innovative!
You can even roast the seeds and devour them just like pumpkin seeds. They are high in healthy oils and dietary fiber.
Now, the benefits of Butternut squash which cause this all fame and popularity of this winter Squash in the culinary world will be shortly revealed to you as well…
Butternut squash is jam-packed with Vitamin A content especially and with Vitamin C and K. Vitamin A is very vital in maintaining healthy, young and fresh skin and mucosa. It revitalizes your skin and rejuvenates the cells giving you a fresher looking and blemish free skin.
Not only that, butternut winter squash also helps to release moisture into your hair which helps to give you better looking and healthier hair.
Vitamin A also helps to promote better eyesight, so if you got those lenses on just now and new, you need to increase your Vitamin A intake so you can get rid of that nerdy look as soon as possible.
Butternut Squash is also rich in many healthy antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorus, fiber, 35-40% oil and 30% protein.
The rich Vitamin K content helps to give you stronger bones and maintain blood pressure. Antioxidants help to prevent inflammation and asthma. Moreover, it prevents cancers of the lung and oral cavity and reduces the chances of type II diabetes.
Butternut Squash is a vital source of energy which boosts your immune system making it stronger and more resistant to illness and diseases.
Additionally, this winter vegetable is low in calories since it has zero saturated fats. Thus, it does not cause obesity or rise in cholesterol levels or heart diseases. Dieticians, therefore, suggest it to people who aim for weight loss and who want to control cholesterol levels.
As written earlier, butternut squash is high in dietary fiber. This fiber helps to improve digestion by stimulating more and more peristalsis which causes food to move around in your gut avoiding constipation.
Lastly, in some areas, this vegetable is grown and fed to livestock animals as fodder.
We are pretty sure that we have persuaded you fully to make this versatile vegetable a major component of your diet not just because of its nutritional benefits but because of the mouthwatering, scrumptious taste and flavor too. Let us not forget the smell and aroma too.
Now for those of you who already use this vegetable are probably faced with the arduous and mammoth task of peeling the tough, thick and fibrous skin off this vegetable. Fear not, this is why we are here; to help you decide the best butternut squash peeler.
You must be thinking why a peeler? Why not help me work with my good old knives? Well here are some reasons why.
Why use a peeler for peeling Butternut Squash?
So the three questions we will be answering here are; why a peeler is needed for peeling a butternut squash, why is it better than a sturdy knife and how does it help you?
So the need for a peeler arises for peeling a butternut squash due to the thick though and fibrous coating it has outside. The coating is hard and thick enough to not get easily peeled off with a dull, unsharpened knife. In fact, a not so sharpened knife may even cause you to get you a serious cut or bruise.
It would be hard to peel off and you will have to exert extra pressure which would cause the knife to work through at once and you will lose control on it and in that instant, it will slice through the skin and into your hand.
So for that, dear readers, you are advised to use a sharpened knife. But though a knife does make your work easier but not as easy as a peeler. A sharp knife would help you clear of the skin but how much skin? That is the real question.
With a knife, you usually peel off excess than the skin. That is, that you do not only peel off the skin but the vegetable too. Moreover, the peeling off is uneven. And let us not forget, that if you are an amateur than peeling with a knife can be a huge, HUGE task for you.
A peeler is more efficient than a knife. That is absolutely right. A peeler does the work of a knife in half the time. It takes off longer peels in one go which are even length and hence saving you more the vegetable content.
Moreover, a peeler provides a better grip than most knives especially a Y-shaped peeler. It is easy to use, efficient, takes up really small space and is mainly cheap. It is also extremely safe to use in comparison to a knife. Stats show that a knife has caused more bruises and cuts as compared to a peeler.
Additionally, a peeler works on the principle of a third class lever which reduces effort. Which means it multiplies the little effort you apply and does more work hence is more efficient.
We can guarantee that you will love a peeler the first time you use it. In the modern kitchen, it is an essential and necessary part. So unless you are an expert in using a knife, you cannot adore this small little equipment which makes life incredibly easier.
Now that we know peelers are necessary, we need to know what kind of peeler you are looking for when peeling a butternut squash vegetable.
What type of Peeler are you looking for?
Here we will put down the features you are looking for in a peeler.
So first of all, you should choose a peeler which provides a good grip. The good grip is mostly provided by plastic or hard rubber handles.
The peelers with handles made of steel although are the good but leave marks on your hands and may prove hurtful on your knuckles and finger bones so unless the handle has some sort of cushioning that allows you to hold it easily, don’t purchase it because you will not be able to do large amounts of peeling with it.
The second thing that matters is the blade. The blade is very important. Make sure it is made of stainless steel or carbon steel and is sharp. If it is not sharp, it will not peel through. If it is other than high-quality stainless steel or carbon steel, it will rust and lose its peeling properties. So yes you have got to be sure of this.
The third thing that matters is the movable blade. Now, this may not be present in many of the peelers but take our word for it and buy a one with a movable blade. The movable blade would help ensure that every edge and nook of the vegetable is clearly and uniformly peeled off.
A movable blade can easily move on and across rough surfaces and efficiently shave off the fruit or vegetable.
The peeler should be easy to use. Most peelers including the ones we are going to mention here are easy to use, the ones with complicated designs are usually for mega kitchens or industrial purposes so don’t bother buying them.
Rest assured, peelers are generally not very expensive so you don’t need to worry about an additional burden on your budget. Phew!
So here are some recommended Butternut Squash peelers for you easily available on Amazon.
1. OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler
- This is a Y shaped peeler and fairly cheap.
- The blade is long, made of stainless steel and is movable thus allowing you to peel with the utmost ease.
- The handle is nonslip and provides a secure grip.
- It is easy to use and would take up almost zero space in your cutlery.
- The most important and captivating feature about this simple yet sleek design is that the blades are removable so you can change the blades anytime you like.
2. Julienne Peeler
- A Y shaped peeler again in a reasonable price.
- It is made up of stainless steel and comes with a cleaning brush to clean every edge and nook of the tiny blade.
- It does a three in one job.
- Two types of blades for different types of vegetable peeling and even pasta cutting.
- One small scoop on one side for removing things like potato eyes or a spoiled area on a vegetable.
- It is dishwasher friendly!
- The guys at QuintEssence provide a lifetime guarantee. Spend once and enjoy forever!
- The rubber ensures a secure grip.
- It has a hanging loop with which you could hang it onto your cutlery stand.
3. OXO Good Grips Y-peeler
- This is pretty much same as the one mentioned before by OXO but provides a better and more secure grip.
- It is again cheap and made of stainless steel.
- On one end is again a tiny scoop to remove potato eyes or small spoiled areas in vegetables.
- This tool is dishwasher safe again.
- It comes with the better guarantee of OXO.
4. Uoline Julienne Peeler
- This julienne peeler is by Uoline and is different from the previously mentioned.
- Again made of stainless steel and comes with a tiny useful cleaning brush.
- It has three different types of peelers which perform different functions such as peeling, slicing, cutting and removing potato eyes.
- It also comes with a separate peeler which is folding.
- The design is sleek and dishwasher safe!
5. Lakeland Y-Peeler
- This is a reasonably priced, stainless steel Y peeler.
- It is specially designed as a Butternut Squash Peeler.
- It has scoopers again to remove spoiled areas from vegetables such as potato eyes.
- The body has been designed in such a way that it can hang onto cutlery stands as well.
- A very sleek and modern design.
- It comes in two designs; so purchase the one which suits your needs.
6. Victorinox Swiss Army Stainless Peeler
- This peeler by Victorinox is probably the most unique design of a peeler.
- It is made up of stainless steel and Victorinox is famous for making products from sustainable sources.
- It has a reasonable price and is very modern.
- Though, this peeler comes in a different design it is still easy to use.
7. Victorinox Swiss Army Peeler
- This is a high carbon stainless steel peeler by the same renowned company, Victorinox.
- It has simple easy to use design.
- The handle is slip free and made of high-quality products.
- The gals at Victorinox recommend handwashing for this product of theirs.
8. Victorinox Swiss Peeler
- This model is fairly cheap and made of high carbon stainless steel.
- The handle provides a secure and good grip again to ensure continuous peeling.
- It has loop towards the end of the body to allow it to hang.
- It is dishwasher safe.
9. Chef Remi Peeler
- This comes in a pack of 3.
- The three peelers have all different stainless steel blades that perform different functions and will cater to all your slicing, cutting, grating and peeling needs.
- They come with lifetime warranty and would not be very heavy on your budget.
- The handles provide a secure grip and the blades are movable.
- It is dishwasher safe.
So here we are, done with the butternut squash peeler recommendations too. Now all we need to know is how to use these peelers.
Also, you should make sure that you are peeling this squash on a stable cutting board. Wooden cutting boards would do that for you or a heavy marble or plastic one. Once you have ensured that your cutting board is not lopsided and does not fidget around while you cut or peel, you should prepare your squash.
To prepare your squash, you should first wash and rinse it properly with water to remove all sorts of impurities and pesticides from it. Then you should steam it or microwave it for a couple of minutes so that the skin softens. That would greatly help you in peeling.
Once you’ve done that, just simply divide your squash into two halves with a knife; the body and the base and get peeling! Scoop out the seeds too though.
Once your butternut squash and peeled with the best butternut squash peeler and free of seeds, you can do anything with it. Enter any cuisine you fancy and make an exotic dish which sends cold shivers downs one’s spine. Hope this article helped you! Adios, readers.
Image credits via Flickr creative commons: Inhabitat