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Acorn Squash

Background

This winter squash is technically a botanical fruit, however in a culinary sense it is treated as a sweet vegetable. The Acorn squash gets its name from its ovoid shape similar to a tree acorn, with deep ridges forming a defined point at the bottom. Its flesh is sweet than summer squash (i.e. zucchini) and has a pleasant nutty taste characteristic of autumn flavors. The prime session for deliciously fresh acorn squash is early fall through winter.

Acorn squash is most commonly dark green with a spot of orange on one side. Newer varieties starting to surface, like the golden and white acorn squash. Traditional deep green acorn squash is native to the Americas, and was one of the Indian Triad staple foods of squash, beans, and corn.

 

Benefits

Acorn Squash are a source of the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C- help strengthen the body’s ability to fight off germs and viruses, as well as reduce cellular damage that reduces risk for chronic disease.
  • Vitamin A- essential in maintaining good eye and skin health.
  • B Vitamins- important for energy metabolism.
  • Magnesium and Manganese- important for strong bones and blood sugar retention.
  • Fibre can help reduce symptoms of constipation, bloating, and cramping. Fibre will help keep you feeling satisfied by slowing down digestion and evening out your blood sugars.

 

Nutritional Value of 1/2 cup (125 mL) Cooked Acorn Squash

  • 61 calories
  • 16 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g protein
  • 2 g fat
  • 2 g fibre
  • 32% of daily vitamin C needs
  • 32% of daily recommended vitamin A requirements
  • 22% of daily magnesium intake

 

Did You Know

The thin green skin of the acorn squash is actually edible! There is no need to meticulously peel the squash before roasting it off in the oven. This way you save prep time, keep pleasant texture and color in your dish all with the added benefit of even more fibre per serving!

 

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