Give Acorn Squash a Try and You Might Just Like It
If you haven’t tried acorn squash before, now is the perfect opportunity to do so. Aside from being nutritious, it also offers a different flavor than other squashes. What’s more, it’s easy to prepare and you can even eat the skin. But before anything else, make sure that your acorn squash comes from a reputable organic grower to help you lower your risk of ingesting dangerous contaminants that can potentially harm your health.
Frequently Asked Questions About Acorn Squash
Q: Can you eat acorn squash skin?
A: Yes, it’s possible to eat the skin of acorn squash if it is roasted, braised or simmered, depending on your needs.
Q: What does acorn squash taste like?
A: Acorn squash is described to have a mild, buttery taste.
Q: How can you tell if acorn squash is ripe?
A: Ripe acorn squashes have a dark green appearance, as well as a hard skin. In addition, the stem attached to the fruit will become withered.
How to Cook and Prepare Acorn Squash
Before you are able to cook acorn squash, you will need to know how to prepare it.
To begin cutting an acorn squash, you will need to use a chef’s knife or another heavy-duty knife with some weight.
Start slicing on one side of the stem while cutting straight through the squash. Continue this motion all the way down until you don’t encounter resistance and you’ve reached the hollow portion. Afterward, pull apart the squash with your hands. From there, you can prepare the squash as you see fit.
While baking acorn squash is one of the most popular ways to prepare it, there are other culinary options, as long as you have the imagination. Some ideas you can try include:
- Soup: Chop up the flesh of acorn squash to create a broth, or puree it for a creamy texture.
- Casserole: Place acorn squash into a lasagna, or add it into your favorite casserole recipe.
- Salad: Mix chunks of acorn squash flesh with your salads to create new flavors.
Another reason to cook acorn squash is because of its high lectin content. Lectins are sugar-binding plant proteins that attach to cell membranes, which can negatively affect your health, such as causing leaky gut syndrome. Cooking acorn squash properly lowers the amount of lectins in squash and reduces its health risks, while simultaneously helping you gain the nutrients that may actually promote better well-being.
Benefits of Acorn Squash
|Boosting the Immune System: Acorn squash is rich in vitamin C, which is one of the most important nutrients that can help boost your immune system.
Taking sufficient amounts of it may help stimulate the production of white blood cells to defend your body from foreign contaminants.5
|Promoting Healthy Vision: Consuming acorn squash may help maintain healthy vision, as it contains generous amounts of vitamin A
This nutrient has been linked with reduced oxidative stress in the eyes, which may help promote better eyesight.
|Promoting Skin Health: Aside from promoting eye health, vitamin A may also help keep your skin in optimal condition.
According to The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vitamin A may help prevent skin damage caused by ultraviolet light (photoaging).
|Boosting Digestive Health: A single-cup serving of acorn squash already contains 2.1 grams of dietary fiber. This can help promote digestive health by adding bulk to your stools, thereby promoting regular waste elimination.
As a result, the risk for common digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea are reduced.
|Regulating Blood Pressure: Acorn squash contains potassium (in fact, 486 milligrams in a single cup) that acts as a vasodilator.
This means that potassium may help relax blood vessels and arteries, which may lower the stress in your cardiovascular system.
|Building Strong Bones: A total of 46 milligrams of calcium is found in a cup of acorn squash, which may help build strong bones.|
- 2 acorn squashes
- 3 tablespoons of clarified butter, tallow or coconut oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut each squash in half but keep the seeds intact. Place the cut ends on a baking sheet then roast for an hour to tenderize the flesh. Remove the squashes from the oven let them cool for a few minutes.
- In a skillet, sauté the onions using the cooking fat of your choice over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes until the onions begin to be golden brown.
- Add the garlic, coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper, then continue cooking for another two minutes.
- Remove the seeds then spoon out the tender flesh. Discard the skin. Mash up the flesh and add it to the skillet with the other ingredients. Mix well until the flavors blend.
Acorn Squash: Nutritional Facts
Acorn squash is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as being a low-calorie food. However, one drawback of this vegetable is its high carbohydrate content. While acorn squash is nutritious, consuming too much of it may eventually have negative effects on your health due to the carbohydrates being converted to sugars. When eating, always ensure that your servings are calculated appropriately. The table below provides a good overview on what to expect when eating acorn squash: 19