Acorn Squash

Cucurbita Pepo species - Jazmin Barragan

Classification

The acorn squash can be classified as a winter vegetable or a squash. Although it is grown in the summer the acorn squash get its name due to its ability to be stored throughout the winter and its acorn shape. Along with the acorn squash, the winter vegetable/ squash group includes butternut squash, calabaza (West Indian pumpkin), delicata, hubbard, kabocha, and pumpkins.

Consumer Info

When buying acorn squash, look for one that is heavy for its size with smooth dull skin and no soft spots. In terms of color, the acorn squash should have a balance between green and orange. Avoid squashes with shiny skin (this indicates that it was picked before maturity) and if there is too much orange color indicating that it is over ripe and dry.

Storage

After purchase of an acorn squash, store in a cool dry place in order to reach its maximum shelf life of several months. After cut, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate, and use within four days. Acorn squash is usually available fresh at a farmers market or supermarket. A traditional serving size of acorn squash is one cup (140 kg)

Nutritional information

Acorn squashes are filled with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B-6, fiber, and is very high in antioxidants. These nutrients promote the immune and skeletal system, strengthens bones and teeth, and boosts metabolism. The nutrients in acorn squash also helps prevent strokes, depression, diabetes, lowers risk of cancer, and supports eye health

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Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 1 small acorn squash (about 1 pound total)


  • 6 ounces lean ground pork or turkey


  • 1/4 cup chopped celery


  • 1/4 cup chopped onion


  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder


  • dash of ground cinnamon


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce


  • 1 slice raisin bread or whole wheat bread, cubed (3/4 cup)


1. Spray a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick coating. Halve squash; discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F. oven for 50 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, for stuffing, in a skillet cook pork, celery, and onion until meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat. Stir in salt, curry powder, and cinnamon; cook 1 minute more. Stir in applesauce and bread cubes.


3. Turn squash cut side up in dish. Place stuffing in squash halves. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes more. Makes 2 servings.

Prep tips

  • Remove seeds from center and use to toast
  • Use a sturdy knife to cut
  • Place in microwave oven for 2 minutes to make it easier to cut

Work cited

Filippone, Peggy Trowbridge. "Acorn Squash Cooking Tips." Home Cooking. Web. 04 May 2015. <http://homecooking.about.com/od/howtocookvegetables/a/acorncooktips.htm>.


"Pork-Stuffed Acorn Squash." Recipe.com. Recipes, n.d. Web. 04 May 2015. <http://www.recipe.com/pork-stuffed-acorn-squash/>.


Rolek, Barbara. "Squash: Basic Facts and Cooking Tips." About Food. Web. 04 May 2015. <http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/vegetables/a/squash.htm>.


"The Purple Carrot Project Community Gardens." : Downtown Farmers' Market and Acorn Squash. Web. 04 May 2015. <http://thepurplecarrotproject.blogspot.com/2011/11/downtown-farmers-market-and-acorn.html>.