How to Select Acorn Squash
Choose acorn squashes with a thick shell that are heavy for their size. The stems should be attached and dry. Avoid squashes that have soft spots or cuts, which could lead to early decay.
The shells should be richly coloured and matte rather than shiny. It is normal for there to be a pale orange spot where the squash rested on the ground while growing, but the spot shouldn’t be pale green, which could indicate it was picked too early.
How to Store Acorn Squash
Like other hard-shelled winter squashes, acorn squashes are ideal for long-term storage. Keep them in a cool, dry place for up to two months before consuming. Dryness delays bacterial growth, so allow adequate air circulation around your squash to prevent moisture from developing on the surface. Don’t store your acorn squashes near apples or pears as the ethylene gases released by these ripening tree fruits can shorten the storage life of your squash.
How to Freeze Acorn Squash
Peel the squash with a sharp knife and scoop out the seeds. Chop the squash into bite-size pieces and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the pieces are frozen. Transfer to a freezer bag and label. Store in the freezer for up to 6-months, adding the pieces to soups or stews as needed.
You can also steam, bake or microwave the squash first and purée or mash the flesh before freezing. Store in air-tight containers or freeze in an ice cube tray and transfer to freezer bags to use in smaller portions.
If you freeze plain, cooked and pureed squash in ice cube trays, it becomes a favourite baby food! Try serving it blended with other purees such as apple, pear, carrot, or sweet potato.