After a crisp October day at the market, nothing sounds better than coming home to a warm meal that smells like the feeling of fall. Acorn squash, named for its shape (after a squirrel’s favorite snack), is being harvested, is in season right now and can be found at farmers markets along with other squash varieties, pumpkins and gourds.
Acorn squash is a warrior vegetable; it can grow in the coldest of temperatures underground throughout the winter, and even throughout summer. The optimal growing temperature is approximately 60 degrees, and about five seeds should be planted each time to ensure at least one successful plant. Though considered a “winter” vegetable, acorn squash is in the same family as summer squashes. The germination period of an acorn squash is about 85 days, at which point the squash will grow beautiful yellow flowers which are also edible.
Acorn squash is green on the outside, with a soft yellow-orange interior. Like many fruits and vegetables of this color, acorn squash is full of Vitamin A, an essential vitamin for eyesight and eye care. Acorn squash also contains about 20% of the daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for immune system health and skeletal systems. So eat up on acorn squash for your eyes and to prevent the dreaded winter cold.
Acorn squash is commonly roasted in the oven, used in soups, and can be seasoned and flavored in numerous ways. Because acorn squashes are already flavor dense, preparing the vegetable does not require many ingredients! We loved this simple recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash from the kitchn: