The first is that both of our kids, just turned 2 and 5, LOVE all things sweet. They get sugar candy as a treat every once in a while, but we hate to give them too much. This squash candy is a great compromise, being both sweet and healthy. They love it and will eat as much as you'll let them have.
The second challenge is what to do with all our winter squash. They're so easy to grow and will last for so long that they are a must have in any garden. Last year we had 30 of them without any kind of special work beyond putting the seed in the ground. However, the vegetable is usually very large, so you have to decide what to do with the whole thing each time you cut one open. You can roast them, cook them in stir-fry, make pie, etc. but you'll still be left with some of the meat. Making leather out of any left over is perfect. It's tasty and will last a long time.
We also like to add apple sauce to the recipe as we process and save a lot of apples in the Fall.
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Step 1: Puree
- Cut your squash (either one large or two small) into chunks. You can leave the skin on as it is a lot easier to remove once it's been cooked.
- Place the chunks into a large saucepan with a little water. Cover and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 30 minutes or so, or until the meat is tender.
- Strain the water and then remove the skin.
- Put all the squash in the blender until smooth, in batches if necessary. You should have roughly 8 cups of puree.
- To get apple puree, you follow the same procedure, although it's easier to peel them before cooking, at the same time as removing the cores.
Step 2: Ingredients
- 8 cups of winter squash, like pumpkin, acorn, spaghetti, etc.
- 3 cups of apple sauce
- 1 cup of honey
- Scant 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 lime
Step 3: Leather
So, after a couple of days, push your finger into the leather. If it doesn't "squish" at all, it's ready. Peel the leather off the cookie sheet.
If you want to store it for another time, roll it up tightly and it will be more space efficient. You can of course eat it as is.
You can also cut out some small squares, spread cream cheese on them and then roll them up. Dip these tubes in honey for a truly delicious treat.