Canning Winter Squash

Canning winter squash is easy and makes this healthy food accessible without much preparation before serving at a meal.

According to Michigan State University Extension, this is the season of preservation. One of the last items to harvest in the garden is winter squash. There are several ways to preserve squash. It can be stored in a cool dry place and kept whole; it can be frozen or canned.

Many times you may hear of people keeping winter squash whole or freezing it because it is quick and simple to do. So for a change in venue we will explore canning winter squash. This method has its benefits as well as the quicker more frequently used methods. One benefit is the convenience of ready to use anytime it is needed.

When canning winter squash keep in mind that it is dense and heavy so following the correct method is important. Otherwise bacteria can survive and become harmful if the proper heat does not reach the center of the jar.

Canning winter Squash:

  • Cut open the squash, clean out seeds
  • Peel the outer covering off, cut the flesh into one-inch cubes
  • Boil the cubes for two minutes
  • Do not pack or mash squash
  • Fill jars with cubes, then pour cooking liquid to fill the jars, leave one-inch headspace
  • Place a lid and ring on the jar, do not over tighten
  • Squash must be pressure canned because it is a low-acid vegetable

Dial Gauge pressure canner:

  • 12 pounds pressure for 55 minutes for pints
  • 12 pounds pressure for 90 minutes for quarts

Weighted gauge pressure canner:

  • 15 pounds pressure for 55 minutes for pints
  • 15 pounds pressure for 90 minutes for quarts

MSU Extension recommends following food safety guidelines when preserving foods. It is time to enjoy the harvest and preserve it for safe food consumption in the future. Winter squash is easy to can and is easily accessed and utilized for meals all winter.

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