Acorn Squash Basics

What it is: The most common variety is dark green in colour, often with a single spot of orange on the side or top. Acorn squash belongs to the same species as summer squash including zucchini and yellow crookneck squash. Squash is native to the Americas. It is believed to be one of the first foods cultivated by Native Americans. It has beta-carotene, but not as much as other winter squashes. It is a great source of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as smaller amounts of vitamins C and B, magnesium, and manganese

When is acorn squash in season: It is at its peak in the fall; from early October through December and is also called Winter Squash.

What to look for: It has a ridged, dark-green skin sometimes with bright yellow spots. Inside you will find sweet yellow-orange flesh.

How to store: It can be stored at room temperature for up to one month. In a cool, dark place it will last much longer.

How to grow it: It is actually very ease to grown. Seeds are started after all danger of frost is past and the soil is warm. Seeds directly sown are placed one inch deep, 2-3 to a hill; hills do require a large area to grow in, about 6 feet in all direction from other hills. As with other squash varieties, the acorn squash produces beautiful yellow trumpet flowers. Did you know that the flowers are also edible? Tops (about three inches) from the end are also edible. The stem has a prickly feel. Acorn squash are ready to be harvested roughly 85 days after germinating. Curing takes a week to ten days in a sheltered area outside, or a warm dry place like a dry storage space, protected from frost.

How to prepare: Most common way to prepare acorn squash is to bake it. It can also be microwaved, sautéed and steamed. It can be stuffed with rice, or vegetable mixtures. And the seeds are also eaten after being toasted. See squash recipes in our free recipe ebook.