Even though winter is almost (hopefully) coming to an end soon, I'm still cooking with tons of butternut squash.
From cheesy Instant Pot butternut squash Alfredo to caramelized butternut squash wedges, I'll keep this bright orange, cold-weather staple in rotation for weeks to come—and probably until below-freezing temperatures and the Polar Vortex feel like a dark and distant dream (so...June, if we're lucky?).
But even the most reliably delicious of ingredients has its flaws, and butternut squash in particular has a big one: peeling it is beyond difficult—not to mention, frustrating. After a close encounter between my thumb and a knife, I decided to do a bit of YouTube detective work (I've acquired most of my life skills this way) in hopes of finding a better, safer way.
In the process, I stumbled upon a video tutorial showcasing a butternut squash-peeling method that claimed to be the fastest and the easiest, thanks to an ultra-simple trick: use the microwave.
Now, if you're more experienced and adept in the kitchen than I am, there's a solid chance you already consider this "hack" old news. But if, like me, you find this method to be a revelation, here's a step-by-step guide:
And with just a few minutes in the microwave, butternut squash—which I both loved and feared all at once—becomes just like any other easily roast-able (this trick actually cuts down on time in the oven slightly), toast-able, puree-able, Instant Pot-able ingredient. This little bit of magic leaves you with nothing to worry about except what you're going to do with it. (Hint: There are many, many options.)