Acorn squash are a type of winter squash that are named for their shape, which is like an acorn. Acorn squash come in a variety of colors including green, orange, white and a variegated green color. When choosing squash, look for a hard tough rind with the stem still attached. Avoid those with cuts, soft spots or any sign of mold.
Acorn squash can keep for up to three months when stored in a cool dry place. Once cut open, wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator for up 5 days. Cooked winter squash can be frozen for up to 6 months
So what about nutrition? Acorn squash are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and Fiber: all-important nutrients to help keep you and your immune system healthy for the cool months ahead.
Whether you purchased your squash or grew one yourself, the simplest way to enjoy it is to cut in half, remove the seeds, place cut side down on a plate and microwave on high for 5 to 10 minutes, or until soft. However, I like to add a delicious apple stuffing to my acorn squash and turn it into an easy yet elegant dish, using this recipe adapted from Hy-Vee.com.
- 1 cup chopped tart cooking apples
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. melted butter
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 Tbsp. chopped pecans, if desired
- In a medium bowl stir apples, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon to coat.
- Place squash cut-side up, in an 8 x 8-inch microwave-safe baking dish.
- Fill each squash half with half of the apple mixture.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the squash and apples are soft. Sprinkle with pecans just before serving
- To bake in the oven: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place stuffed squash in a baking dish coated with cooking spray and use foil instead of plastic wrap. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until the squash and apples are softened.
Then place them on a pretty dish, and there you have it, A Nutritious Dish…in a matter of minutes! ™