Have you ever thought of squash on a cool summer day, and no, we aren’t talking about the sport, we’re talking about National Acorn Squash Day on September 7. Acorn squash is also known as pepper squash or Des Moines squash and it is a water squash that is occasionally considered a summer squash, belonging to the same species as zucchinis and crookneck squash. Its vibrant color and sweet taste make for an appealing carb option, and it’s not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.
History of National Acorn Squash Day
Most fruits always seem to have that balance of satisfying your sweet tooth, while supplying your body with a bounty of nutrients. The squash is one of the fruits that possess that quality effortlessly. However, today isn’t the celebration of just any squash, but the acorn squash in particular.
Acorn squash is indigenous to North and Central America and was introduced to early European settlers by Native Americans. It is a type of winter squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family, which also includes pumpkin, butternut squash, and zucchini. The acorn squash resembles an acorn, usually weighs between one to two pounds, and grows between four and seven inches long. It varies in color from dark green to white. However, the most commonly grown varieties are dark green and often have a patch of bright orange towards the top.
Acorn squash has sweet, yellow-orange flesh that has a slightly nutty flavor. It can be baked, microwaved, sautéed, or steamed. Some cooks like to stuff it with rice, meat, cheeses, or vegetable mixtures. You can also toast the seeds of the acorn squash much like pumpkin seeds. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as smaller amounts of vitamins C and B, magnesium, and manganese. It is difficult to trace the origin of the celebration, but National Acorn Squash Day is celebrated every September 7.
National Acorn Squash Day timeline
The vegetable was unknown in Europe until the late 16th century, where the first known record of squash is found in the Old World.
Richard Jauron, a horticulture specialist at Iowa State University Extension, says the acorn squash came to Iowa all the way from Copenhagen, Denmark.
This squash variety is officially introduced by the Iowa Seed Company of Des Moines.
Evidence of the domestication of squash is found in the Guilá Naquitz cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, during a series of excavations in the 1960s to 1970s.
National Acorn Squash Day FAQs
What is another name for acorn squash?
Acorn squash can also be called pepper squash or Des Moines squash.
Is acorn squash healthy?
Acorn squash is a highly nutritious carb choice. It’s rich in many vitamins and minerals that promote your health in various ways. The bright orange flesh of acorn squash is packed with vitamin C, provitamin A, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese.
What is the healthiest type of squash?
Acorn squash definitely takes the crown. It offers more folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium than butternut, Hubbard squash, and spaghetti squash. Eating one cup of cooked acorn squash will give you more potassium than if you ate two medium bananas.
National Acorn Squash Day Activities
Cook an acorn squash recipe
There are so many ways to enjoy a good acorn squash. Pick up a cookbook or research some related recipes to get your cooking on! With so many delicious health benefits on meal options, the choices of creating an amazing dish from this single food item are numerous. You could also share your meals via the hashtag #AcornSquashDayRecipes.
Plant an acorn squash
Acorn squashes are relatively easy to grow. Research on the cultivation processes of the fruit, and go out and purchase those seeds.
Learn more about it
Learn more about the fruit, its nutritional benefits, cultivation processes, and how it can be consumed. You can share your findings on social media using the hashtags #AllAboutAcornSquash and #AcornSquashDay.
5 Facts About Acorn Squash You Should Know
It can improve eye health
One half-cup serving of cooked acorn squash contains 9% of your recommended daily dose of vitamin A, and then there’s the vitamin A that your body synthesizes from acorn squash’s alpha- and beta-carotene.
It’s good for your heart
Acorn squash provides one of the best possible ratios of heart-healthy vitamins to calories and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s even better for your skin
Some studies have shown that the beta-carotene in acorn squash, along with other similar nutrients, can help protect the skin from sun damage and related cancers.
It’s great for diabetes patients
It helps regulate the levels of blood sugar in the body, thereby helping to prevent the development of diabetes and maintaining stable glucose levels.
It kicks your immunity up a notch
Acorn squash is a great source of vitamin C, which may be one of the best ways to boost your immune system and help stimulate the production of white blood cells that defend the body from pathogens and other unwanted germs/microbes.
Why We Love National Acorn Squash Day
It provides an opportunity to eat more fruits
We are all guilty of shying away from the responsibility of eating healthier and adding more fruits and vegetables to our diets. However, National Acorn Squash Day gives us the perfect reason to indulge with no excuses.
It promotes all the benefits of the squash fruit
Squash fruits and acorn squash in particular hold so much nutritional value that a lot of people may or may not even know about. On this day, we can fully understand the benefits of adding squash to our meal preps.
It’s a great reason to try out new recipes
Trying out new acorn squash recipes is a great way to celebrate National Squash Day. This is a perfect opportunity to broaden your cooking skills and taste some new healthy dishes while you’re at it.
National Acorn Squash Day dates