Can you freeze acorn squash?
In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze acorn squash?” Also, we’ll explore how acorn squash can be frozen, how acorn squash can be used in cooking, what the nutritional content of acorn squash is, and is it healthy to eat?
Can you freeze acorn squash?
Yes, acorn squash can be frozen, both raw and cooked, as a way to temper seasonal availability.
As winter squash, acorn squash seeds are sown in the late spring (after the last frost) and will take between 80 to 110 days after emerging to grow ripe fruits that can be harvested.
Freezing acorn squash allows users to maintain supplies between harvest periods and also allows users to have a year-long supply that can be used in cooking just as soon as it’s taken out of the freezer, rather than being washed and peeled from fresh, and only during harvest times.
Below, we’ll describe a few important outlines for freezing acorn squash.
How can I freeze acorn squash?
When freezing acorn squash, it can be done when it’s either raw or cooked.
Raw acorn squash is frozen by washing any debris and dirt from the rind, removing it with a knife or vegetable peeler, then cutting it down the middle and scraping out the seeds.
Freezing squash when it’s in the rind is not practical, as it would forcibly need to be thawed out before being cut or mashed, and as a result, it may defeat the practicality of freezing acorn squash.
The raw pulp can then be cut into cubes and they can be preemptively ‘frozen’ to give them a solid consistency. After nearly an hour in the freezer, they can be taken out and placed in a freeze-resistant container or a quality freezer bag.
As much air as possible should be drawn out in either case, to prevent freezer burns and the packaging can be labeled with a sharpie marker.
Acorn squash can also be frozen once it has been cooked or blanched, and depending on the result, the above-described procedure may change a bit.
For example, when mashed and made into a purée, acorn squash can be bottled in mason jars and left with one inch of airspace for it to expand into once it solidifies.
Acorn squash that has been steamed, fried, or baked, once fully cooled, can be frozen similarly to how raw acorn squash that has been divided into portions is; inside a freeze-resistant container, or in plastic bags with all the air drawn out.
Cooked acorn squash can keep for up to eight months in the freezer, while raw acorn squash can keep for around six months, maximum, and is best used as soon as possible.
Thawing acorn squash (both raw and cooked) is ideally done by leaving it overnight in refrigeration, though it can be microwaved with the defrost setting in the case of cooked squash.
Some authors maintain that letting it sit in bowls of cold water is also feasible, though the water should forcibly be decanted and replaced every half-hour.
Once acorn squash has been defrosted, it should be cooked within two days and in the meanwhile, it should be stored in refrigeration.
How can acorn squash be used in cooking?
Acorn squash, fresh or frozen, can be used to make dishes that require steaming, boiling, baking and frying.
Many recipes include squash, though commonly it is roasted with salt and pepper, eaten in soups, casseroles, salads, pasta dishes, and on occasion, even baked into pastries.
What is the nutritional content of acorn squash?
On average, a 205-gram portion of fresh squash will provide:
- 115 calories
- 2.3 grams of protein
- 0.3 grams of fat
- 30 grams of carbohydrates
- 8.2 milligrams of sodium
- 896 milligrams of potassium
In addition, the same portion will provide 18% of the suggested daily intake of vitamin A, 37% of vitamin C, 6.9% of calcium, and 11% of the SDI of iron.
Is eating acorn squash healthy?
Yes, eating acorn squash is healthy. As it is a low-calorie food with vitamins, minerals, and compounds such as carotenoids which are antioxidants, it is a healthy alternative to other foods that are rich in added sugars, calories, and fat.
It has a high concentration of vitamins and minerals such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamins B, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
Its fiber content stimulates digestive function and helps maintain healthy levels of good microorganisms in the digestive tract.
The antioxidants present in acorn squash can also help protect against damage caused by free radicals, and delay or prevent the onset of diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and other inflammatory disorders and degenerative diseases.
To summarize, acorn squash is a food that many should make an effort to incorporate into their diets, and combine with a balanced diet and exercise.
Other FAQs about Squash that you may be interested in.
Can you eat yellow squash with bumps?
How to tell when squash is ripe?
Can you cook an acorn squash in the microwave?
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze acorn squash?” Also, we’ve explored how acorn squash can be frozen, how acorn squash can be used in cooking, what the nutritional content of acorn squash is, and is it healthy to eat?