The other week I was scrolling through Facebook and my cousin posted her dinner, which was Acorn Squash. I have actually never heard of this before. But it did look rather yummy and it sounds pretty healthy! But what exactly is it?
Being acorn squash is part of the same species as zucchini and other squashes, it is a fruit. However, unlike its species, it has a very hard to cut skin and its flesh is much drier. In earlier years, acorn squash was prized by Native Americans because it can be stored for long periods of time and cooked whole. There are tons of ways to use acorn squash in the kitchen as well because it has a mild, buttery flavor that pairs well with a variety of seasonings.
Nutrients and Health Benefits
One cup or 205 grams cooked offers 115 calories. This serving contains 30grams of Carbs, 2grams of Protein, and 9grams of Fiber. It also includes 18% DV of Provitamin A, 37% Dv of Vitamin C, 23% DV of Thiamine, 10% DV of Folate, 22% DV of Magnesium, 26% DV of Potassium, and 25% DV of Manganese.
As you can see, acorn squash is packed with nutrients. Its bright orange flesh is filled with Vitamin C, Provitamin A, and B Vitamins. Along with Potassium, Iron, and Manganese. So you want utilize as much of the flesh you can. Other things you can find in acorn squash include antioxidants. Antioxidants protect you from cellular damage and have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as cancers and heart disease. You can find soluble and insoluble fiber too. These help play a role in digestive health promoting regular bowel movements.
Adding to Your Diet
Just like you would use potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin you can use acorn squash. Because it has that mild flavor is partners well with sweet or savory dishes. It also cooks well roasted or baked along with being made into noodles for a healthy pasta alternative. The way I saw my cousin make it was by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, and baking it in the oven. She seasoned the top with a little bit of garlic olive oil, salt, and pepper too! Other ways include cubbing the product and using it in salads, mashing it into your own version of mashed “potatoes”, and pureeing it to make pies, muffins, or breads. One yummy healthy recipe can be found here.
Acorn squash is a great alternative to cut carbs and calories in the kitchen. It is packed with nutrients and because of its flavor it is very versatile. I would definitely recommend trying this product.