As one of the versatile winter squashes, acorn squash is a wonderful addition to any backyard. Bake it with butter and brown sugar for a candy deal with, or stuff it with apples, sausages, and mushrooms for one thing savory. But nevertheless you resolve to experiment within the kitchen, the very first thing it’s worthwhile to know is when to select acorn squash.
In the identical means that there are tips to choosing the right produce on the grocery retailer, there are some indicators to search for within the backyard that can let you already know your acorn squash plant is ripe. Things like pores and skin texture, colour, and time of yr can all be indicators telling you your squash is ripe.
I don’t suppose you possibly can deal with your acorn squash like another winter squash. If you attempt to treatment your winter squash like butternut squash or spaghetti squash, you’ll in all probability find yourself with a comfortable, rotten squash. But, if you harvest acorn squash accurately and observe the right curing and storing steps outlined under, you possibly can get pleasure from acorn squash all yr lengthy—giving your self loads of alternatives to check out acorn squash soups, salad dressings, desserts, aspect dishes, and essential programs.
How Can You Tell When Acorn Squash Is Ready To Pick?
Of course, harvest time for acorn squash varies relying in your chosen selection. Most acorn squash varieties ripen 80-100 days after they’ve been planted. You can get a extra particular date should you take a look at the “days to full maturity” or “days to harvest” in your seed packets. However, you wish to harvest your winter squash earlier than the primary heavy frost as a result of they’re frost delicate, so estimate to reap acorn squash round September or October.
The plant itself will begin to change look as effectively at harvest time. Don’t pay an excessive amount of consideration to measurement when harvesting acorn squash. Unripe acorn squash attain full measurement fairly early within the season. Acorn squash is often inexperienced with a pale yellow spot the place the squash is going through the bottom. On a ripe acorn squash, that spot has turned from yellow to a deep orange colour and is able to be picked. If the entire squash is orange, you may have waited too lengthy, and the squash has change into over-ripened. If you may have chosen an acorn squash plant that turns completely orange when ripe, disregard this. If that is the case, it ought to specify in your seed bundle. The acorn squash vines and stem may have additionally turned barely brown and dried up when the squash is ripe.
Ripe acorn squash has additionally modified pores and skin texture. Acorn squash is ripe when it has developed powerful pores and skin. The best solution to take a look at in case your acorn squash is ripe is to softly press your fingernail into the pores and skin of the squash, and if the squash has comfortable pores and skin and penetrates simply, you continue to have an immature acorn squash. If your fingernail can solely scratch the rind, or it’s a must to press onerous to interrupt it, it’s time so that you can harvest acorn squash!
How To Harvest Acorn Squash
When harvesting acorn squash, you will want a pointy knife or clippers. You can strive breaking it off of the vine, however we suggest reducing the ripe acorn squash free to be sure you don’t injury the stem. Whatever you do, don’t yank the acorn squash from the vines; this may injury unripe squash you haven’t harvested but. While twisting it free will work for summer time squash varieties, it’s important to reap acorn squash in a means that doesn’t injury the stem to ensure it’s nonetheless in a position to produce, and in a means that retains a small part of stem connected to the ripe squash.
When making your minimize, you wish to go away no less than an inch of the stem in your ripe acorn squash. You can go away as much as 5 inches in order for you; simply be certain that it’s someplace in that vary. Leaving a little bit of stem helps the acorn squash lock in moisture, and failure to do can injury your fruit and even trigger early decay.
Curing Acorn Squash
We first have to kind via them earlier than we are able to treatment our ripe acorn squash. Any acorn squashes with comfortable spots or indicators of harm on the rind must be eaten instantly as a result of they won’t protect for longer intervals just like the others.
Like different winter squashes, acorn squash must be cured in a cool, dry place. Although your acorn squash is ripe and has developed powerful pores and skin, don’t stack winter squash on high of one another. Doing so may create comfortable spots and damage your squash fruit texture. Ripe acorn squash won’t preserve if cured improperly, and decay can unfold if they’ve been stacked. Instead, place them in rows or layers. Cure acorn squash the place the temperature is between 50-55 levels, any roughly may injury the squash. Rotate the squash 1 / 4 every day for 2 weeks to make sure the stem has dried totally, and the rind has developed a tricky pores and skin.
How To Store Acorn Squash
Similar to the curing course of, don’t stack your acorn squash. If that isn’t doable, solely stack acorn squash two squash deep after they’ve been cured. Acorn squash fruit will preserve in dry areas for 1-2 months with 50-55 diploma temperatures.
If you wish to retailer acorn squash for longer than a few months, freezing it’s one of the simplest ways to protect it. For frozen acorn squash to last as long as 12 months, it should be cooked beforehand. First, minimize each ends off your acorn squash, then take away the seeds and comfortable fibrous flesh within the heart. Cut the fruit away from the pores and skin and dice it. Then you possibly can cook dinner your acorn squash nevertheless you want, whether or not that be steamed, baked, boiled, or in a strain cooker. Once the acorn squash fruit texture has softened up a bit bit, there are a couple of methods to retailer it. If you wish to preserve the squash cubed, you possibly can place it on a cooking tray and freeze it. Once frozen, retailer the acorn squash fruit in an air-tight freezer-safe bag or container and luxuriate in for as much as 12 months. Acorn squash may also be mashed or pureed earlier than storing and final simply as lengthy.
Cooked after which refrigerated acorn squash will final about 4 days earlier than going dangerous.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How are you able to inform if acorn squash is nice?
A: It’s time to reap acorn squash when the pores and skin is uninteresting and agency. The acorn squash plant is ripe when the yellow spot in your squash must be turning orange, and the stem must be brown and beginning to dry up. A shiny pores and skin means you may have immature acorn squash, and a largely orange acorn squash normally means it has been on the vine too lengthy. The greatest solution to inform if you need to be harvesting acorn squash is to do the fingernail take a look at to see how agency the pores and skin is.
Q: Will acorn squash ripen off the vine?
A: Yes! It must be largely ripened if you harvest it, however it would proceed to ripen off the vine. Make positive to depart 1-5 inches of the stem connected to lock in moisture and shield your acorn squash.
Q: Can you eat unripe acorn squash?
A: Yes. It is completely fit for human consumption acorn squash that isn’t fairly ripe but. Immature acorn squash won’t retailer although, so it’s a must to eat it inside a few days of selecting it.
The Green Thumbs Behind This Article: