The Wondrous Pink Banana Squash

Every year as I harvest the vegetables from my survival garden, it never fails that people are completely enraptured by my crop of pink banana squash. It seems that most people have never seen this bright salmon colored squash before. The conversation usually goes a little something like this:

“What kind of vegetable is that?”
“That’s a pink banana squash.”
“A pink what squash??”

It’s a wonder to me that more people haven’t heard if this veggie, because it is one of my favorites. It’s been around for a long time, too, since it was first introduced to the United States in 1893. It really is a fantastic thing to grow in your garden. Even people who claim to not like veggies, or not like squash, end up having a taste for pink banana squash.

If you order your own Survival Seed Bank, pink banana squash is just one of the 22 types of seeds you’ll receive, and I know that you’ll love harvesting it every year. This year, I planted mine during the first week of April. I probably could have planted it a bit earlier, really. You just need to wait until there is no longer any threat of frost, and temps are right around 60 degrees. The squash will be ready to harvest 100 days after you plant it. I pick my squash when they are about 18 inches in length. If you let them go, they can get quite a bit larger than this. But like zucchini and most other types of squash, if you let them get too large, the flavor becomes woody and unfavorable. Pick your pink banana squash when they’re about 14-18 inches, and they’ll have a delicious, rich flavor similar to butternut squash, and bright, peachy golden flesh.

What’s one of the best things about pink banana squash? It is very no-fuss when it comes to preparation. The first time you pick a pink banana squash off the vine, simply slice it lengthwise and remove the seeds in the center. Smear it with a bit of olive oil or butter, give it a shake of salt and pepper, then nuke it in your microwave for about 10 minutes til the flesh is soft. You can scoop the flesh right off the pink rind and eat it. Or, mash it up, and it looks like bright orange mashed potatoes. Even your kids will gobble it up.

My wife’s favorite way to prepare pink banana squash is to roast it in the oven. This is pretty quick and easy, too. All you need to do is peel the squash, slice it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds from the center, then cut it into chunks. Toss the chunks in a bowl with some olive oil and fresh herbs- thyme goes particularly well with winter squash. Place the squash on a baking pan and roast it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Throw this together with some couscous, rice, or pasta, and you’ve got yourself a meal!

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