Green acorn squash are petite weighing one to three pounds on average and as their name reflects, have an acorn-like shape. Their skin is light green when young then as they mature will turn to a deep green though the dark color will develop before the squash is ready for harvest. A good indicator of readiness in Green acorn squash can be found by looking at the spot on the squash where they sat on the ground when still on the vine, it should turn from yellow to orange when the squash is mature and ready for harvest. The rind of the Green acorn is hardy with a thin skin that is edible when cooked. The body of the squash is lined with deeply furrowed ridges that taper to a point opposite the squashes flattened stem end. When cooked its yellow-orange flesh offers a mildly sweet and nutty flavor with a somewhat dry texture. Lower in starch than many other winter squash types the Green acorn will be at its peak flavor wise the first few weeks after harvest and should be used within a month for best flavor.
Green acorn squash is available year-round, peaking during the fall and winter months.
The Green acorn squash, scientifically known as Cucurbita pepo is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Green acorn squash are the most common color of acorn squash on the market today, and numerous varieties can be found such as Des Moines, table queen, honey bear, and tuffy to name a few. Green acorn squash turn fully green before reaching full maturity and as a result often are picked too early when harvested for the commercial marketplace. When immature the squash will have a less sweet, almost bland flavor which is why it has become so commonplace to serve acorn squash with brown sugar or syrup in an effort to sweeten the often immature squash. For best flavored Green acorn squash try to purchase directly from local growers, farmers markets, or specialty stores when in season.
Not as rich in beta-carotene as other winter varieties, Green acorn squash is an excellent source of dietary fiber and contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and manganese plus a substantial amount of potassium.
Green acorn squash are a hard-skinned, winter variety squash. They may be peeled, but are most often cooked with their skin-on. When cooked the skin is edible making the squash ideal halved, baked and used as a bowl stuffed with meats, cheese, grains, soups, or other vegetables. Cooked Green acorn squash can be added to soups, stews, curries, risotto, and pasta. Puree and use in quick bread, cakes and pies. It's sweet squash flavor pairs well with balsamic vinegar, wild mushrooms, brown sugar, maple syrup, sage, thyme, rosemary, robust cheeses, curry, pecans, butter, dried cranberries, cilantro, ground beef, blackened chicken, sausage, and apple. Unlike many other winter squashes Green acorn squash are not the best squash to store long term. For best flavor and texture store uncut Green acorn squash in a cool, dry place and use within one month of harvest.