4 Winter squash hacks that make preparation a breeze (VIDEO)

Dec 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. ET

Preparing winter squash can be a huge pain. If you're anything like me, the wrestling match that occurs while trying to cut and peel these oddly shaped gourds is enough to make you choose another vegetable. But dang it, sometimes I want that creamy butternut squash soup without all the muscle needed to make it.

Maybe it's because I've had my very sharp chef's knife slip off the hard exterior one too many times, but I have to admit that prepping winter squash makes me a little nervous. While I am perfectly comfortable in my knife-wielding skills otherwise, I have to ask: How in the world do I even begin to peel an acorn squash with all those funky ridges?

If those super-expensive bags of precut squash from the grocery store are looking pretty appealing right about now, resist. These ingenious techniques for handling squash will save you time, might save a few fingers and will definitely save on frustration. Looks like that silky-smooth soup might be in my future after all.

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