Gem squash is a vegetable with high nutritional value. It is rich in potassium, fiber, phosphorus, and vitamins C, B6, and A. The vegetable can either be baked or roasted, meaning it is the simplest to prepare. Well, do you have an idea of how to cook gem squash?
Unfortunately, most people consider cooking squash to be the most intimidating experience, but it is the simplest of all. You only need a ripe gem squash and a few ingredients. Check out our easy gem squash recipes to get inspiration on how you can cook this tasty meal at home.
Roasting gem squash
This is among the sweetest African delicacy. It is prepared using corn fillings.
- 1 gem squash/any variety of pumpkin
- A pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon of powdered black peppercorn
- 2 finely sliced onions
- 1 grated garlic
- ½ cup of corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 2 teaspoons of grated cheddar cheese or regular commercial cheese
- Wash the gem and cut it into two halves.
- Remove all the seeds and pith from each piece using a spoon.
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C before stuffing your squash. Remember to clear any baking pans from inside the pan and place your oven rack in the middle for evenly baking.
- Now sprinkle salt and black pepper to each cut half.
- Place them on a roasting pan and allow baking for 15 minutes.
- In another pan, add oil and chopped onions. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, corn kernels, and black pepper.
- Transfer the content of the pan into a bowl and divide it into two.
- Put each half of the fillings into the halved baked gem pieces.
- Lastly, add cheese toppings to each half and bake again for 5 minutes at 200 °C.
- Serve hot with salad.
NOTE: You can also remove gem skin and cut it into small cubes before roasting. However, this applies when you have a large frying pan. Also, you can roast or bake it without adding fillings.
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How to bake gem squash
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
- Rinse your gem and cut it into two halves using a heavy knife.
- Carefully remove seeds and pulp using a spoon.
- Season the halves using oil and place them on a baking sheet.
5. Stuff the two halves using cheese or vegetable fillings. Similarly, you can skip the step if you do not have the two.
6. Now bake them at 200 °C for 15 – 20 minutes.
7. Using a spatula or tongs, remove them from the baking sheet.
8. Place them on a plate.
9. Allow cooling slightly before you enjoy eating them using a fork or spoon.
10. Discard the skin.
How to boil gem squash
Boiling is a popular method of cooking gem squash in most parts of the African continent. It is the simplest and fastest of all. Here are the steps:
- Preheat the oven to 160 °C before you proceed to stuff your squash.
- Clean the gem squash and cut it into two halves.
- Remove the seeds and pulp from the two gem halves using a spoon.
- Peel and cut them into 2.5–5.1 cm cubes.
- Place them in a pan and add some water.
- Add salt and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until they become tender.
- Allow cooling slightly then serve.
More about the meal
Below are additional facts about this tastiest and nutritional meal.
How long to boil gem squash
Often, the time may vary depending on the source of heat one is using. Well, an oven, for example, can cook squash for about 10 to 20 minutes. However, with high heat, it can cook in less than 10 minutes. On the other hand, a microwave can take a maximum of 5 minutes.
How to cook gem squash in the microwave
The steps are pretty simple. First, prepare the gem by peeling the skin and cut into small pieces. Second, transfer them into the safe bowl in a microwave. Third, add two tablespoons of water and close the microwave. Fourth, turn the heat on and allow cooking for approximately 3-5 minutes. Pierce with a fork to confirm whether it is cooked. If not, let it cook for another few seconds or minutes.
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How long to cook gem squash
The whole process can take up to an hour or less. For example, when baking it alone using an oven, one is likely to take a maximum of 30 - 35 minutes. Again, the time may vary depending on the source of heat one uses.
Can you steam gem squash?
Some people steam the vegetable in a pot or dutch oven. Overall, steaming requires you to peel and cut the gem squash into small cubes. Afterwards, season the cubes with salt and transfer them into a colander or steamer basket before inserting it into a pot with boiling water. Covering the pot with a lid guarantees excellent results.
What does gem squash taste like?
Normally, this meal is a favourite for many because of its flavour. Precisely, it has a delicate flavour and texture. One is also likely to notice the earthy taste in them, especially when consumed without spices.
How do you cut a gem squash?
It is always advisable to cut the squash into two halves using a heavy knife. After that, you can peel the pieces to remove the hard green skin and divided them into small cubes. The recommendable size of the cubes should be 2.5–5.1 cm.
Can you eat orange gem squash?
Yes. The orange colour is a sign that the squash is ripe and ready for consumption. Importantly, ensure you cut it open to confirm that it is fresh.
Overall, there are many methods on how to cook gem squash. The methods are straightforward and yield excellent results. Also, the vegetable cooks in the shortest time, making it the best meal for breakfast.