Fall is just around the corner. With a new season comes new foods, new flavors and a new, perhaps busier, you. The kids are back to school, the errands seem to pile up and work is in full force. During these rather stressful times it’s important to remember to keep your body on its A-game. Don’t forget to stay fueled and focused so you can accomplish the things you need to do.
Fortunately for us, fall brings a whirlwind of new, wholesome veggies to the table. Today, in honor of National Acorn Squash day, I’d like to focus on one beautiful, underappreciated veggie in particular: acorn squash.
View the Hue
If you have ever seen acorn squash, it isn’t hard to tell that it earned it’s name from it’s unique shape that it shares with only one other thing, acorns of course. Acorn squash is typically a deep shade of green with varying patches of bright yellow. Once you cut it open, the dense part is a vibrant hue of orange divided by a bundle of seeds, just like most other squash varieties.
If you come across these guys at your grocery store or local farm, it’s best to choose a squash that is actually dull and heavy for its size. The average acorn squash weighs roughly two pounds. And if you’re lucky enough to bring one home, it can stay fresh for up to 3 months in a cool, dry condition. But I won’t doubt that it’ll be gone quickly once you find out how nutritious and delicious it really is for you.
Squashing the Competition
One cup of squash packs only 60 calories. It provides 8% of your daily value for fiber and 25% of your daily value of vitamin C keeping your immune system at its peak just when the colds and coughs begin to emerge.
Acorn squash contains a significant amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a precursor for beta carotene which reduces the amount of damage that affects your eyes on a regular basis. Consuming veggies with high levels of vitamin A will help retain your vision over time. Along with your eyes, vitamin A produces antioxidants that repair the stress on your skin, helping you look healthy and radiant throughout your busy day.
As I mentioned before, squash packs a punch when it comes to fiber. Fiber has a handful of different benefits for your body like for digestive health, preventing certain cancers and lowering blood sugars. Fiber regulates so many different aspects within your gut and not enough people consume the recommended amount. With acorn squash, there is no question that you will be able to increase the amount of fiber in your life and make your body overall healthier.
On top of all these amazing health benefits, I cannot forget to mention that acorn squash is free of fat, cholesterol and sodium making this an ideal choice for those who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.
An Appetizing Acorn
If you’re looking to add more acorn squash in your life but don’t know where to start, here are some tips. Acorn squash is typically baked or roasted. It is known for it’s sweet and nutty flavor that pairs well with rice, beans and Brussel sprouts. When baking squash, most will tell you to lay it in the pan cut side up and let it bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes until soft. I personally lay it cut side down, so experiment and see what works best for you.
Acorn squash makes a great accessory to any meal and will definitely impress your guests. Honor the new season with this fun and interesting veggie. Your taste buds and body will jump for joy.
Your turn to take action: How do you love to eat acorn squash?