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How to Grow and Use Red Kuri Squash

I love winter squash! My favourite way to eat it is in soup. I’ve made soup from numerous squash varieties and they all turned out really well! It’s difficult to mess them up.

Some have a taste of their own, while others easily adapt to the seasonings used. I find squash to be a very easy vegetable to work with. It is especially satisfying on a cold Fall or Winter’s day.

Every year, I aim to discover a new squash variety and this year “Red Kuri” squash came in first place!

If you’re thinking of growing winter squash and do some seeds research, you will find that the variety list is quite long! Without knowing much about them, it can be an arduous and confusing task, trying to figure out what they are and how to use them.

How to Grow and Use Red Kuri Squash

Red Kuri Squash Soup
Image by Peter Dusek

Butternut squash has a very distinct sweet flavour, while Acorn squash is mildly flavoured. Delicata squash has a sweet and nutty flavour, with a texture similar to sweet potato. Spaghetti squash has noodle-like flesh that pulls apart after roasting. Turban squash has a mild flavour and floury texture, making it ideal for use in soups, due to its thick consistency.

Red Kuri Squash

When I discovered Red Kuri squash, I was completely blown away by it’s smooth and creamy texture and mellow chestnut-like flavour. It makes the most delicious soup and my family and friends can’t get enough of it!

What is Kuri Squash?

  1. Red Kuri squash belongs to the Hubbard Squash family. It is commonly known as ‘Japanese’ squash, ‘Orange Hokkaido’ squash, Baby Red Hubbard squash or ‘Uchiki Kuri’ squash. It has a smooth skin with a vibrant orange colour.
  2. Originating in Japan, “kuri” translates to chestnut in Japanese. Kuri squash was developed in 1878.
  3. You may find Kuri squash growing in numerous parts of the world, including Japan, California, Florida, SW Colorado, Mexico, Tasmania, Tonga, New Zealand, Chile, Provence and South Africa.
  4. Kuri squash may be baked, boiled, steamed, fried, microwaved and sautéed.
  5. Highly nutritious, it is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, C & B, Calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin and thiamine.

The best part about this squash is its tender skin. Once cooked, the skin becomes soft and blends well. It does not require any peeling. If you’re like me, the easier and simpler the better!

How to Grow Kuri Squash

How to Grow and Use Red Kuri Squash

Red Kuri Winter Squash

Directions:

  1. Kuri squash grows best in full sun and is tolerant of drought conditions.
  2. Start your kuri squash seeds indoors, approximately 4 weeks prior to the final spring frost date.
  3. Start hardening off your seedlings, approximately 1-2 weeks prior to planting them outside into the garden.
  4. Squash will be mature and ready for harvest approximately 90 days after blooming.
  5. Cut your squash from the vine with a knife after mature, and leave 2 to 3 inches of the stem on the fruit. By doing this, you are protecting the delicate area under the stem and assuring a longer shelf life.

My recipe for Kuri & Delicata Squash soup is a favourite among friends and family.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we all have.

Happy Gardening!

10 Proven Steps for a Successful Vegetable Garden

10 Proven Steps for a Successful Vegetable Garden

Having a vegetable garden that flourishes takes a big commitment. Learn how to create an enchanted kitchen garden oasis with these 10 proven steps.

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