Acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo) is a winter squash with distinctive longitudinal ridges and sweet, yellow-orange flesh. Although considered a winter squash, acorn squash belongs to the same species as all "summer" squashes (including courgette and yellow crookneck squash). The most common variety is dark green in colour. However, newer varieties have arisen including Golden Acorn, for its glowing yellow colour, and some that are white. They can also be variegated (multi-colored). As the name suggests, its shape resembles that of an acorn. It is also good for winter storage, keeping several months in a cool dry location such as a cellar.
Acorn squash are easily grown. Seeds are started after all danger of frost is past and the soil is warm or within 3–4 weeks before the predicted last frost date in the area. Seeds directly sown are placed 2.5cm (1in) deep, 5-6 to a hill; hills are 1.8m (6ft) in all direction from other hills.
Roughly 85 days after germinating, acorn squash are ready to be harvested.
Curing takes a week to ten days in a sheltered area outside, or a warm dry place such as a garage, protected from frost.
The seeds of the squash are also eaten, usually after being toasted. Acorn squash is most commonly baked, but can also be microwaved, sauteed, and steamed. This squash is not as rich in beta-carotene as other winter squashes, but is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as smaller amounts of vitamins C and B, magnesium, and manganese.
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