Acorn squash is a winter squash with a sweet, nutty flavor. This vegetable can lay on the counter for days and not show any signs of decay. Hence it can be challenging to figure out if it has turned bad.
Preservation is necessary to ensure it has not gone bad when used for cooking.
Acorn squash shelf life is one to two months if stored at room temperature. In contrast, it will last only two weeks if stored in a refrigerator.
They will suffer damage if stored in temperatures below 50 F. Similarly, hot air leads to moisture loss resulting in shorter shelf life.
It is advised to use the vegetable within two weeks of its purchase. Once the squash is cut, wrap the pieces using a cling film.
Refrigerate the portions and make sure to use them within four days.
Few Ways To Determine If Acorn Squash Is Bad
The following are ways to tell if acorn squash is bad or not.
Slicing The Squash Can Give You The Answer
Once the squash has peaked its shelf life, one has to slice it into pieces.
There will be slimy grey seeds that tell you that the squash has gone bad.
If the flesh is very dull in color, then it also has spoiled. If the squash has a weird smell, then it is time to throw it away.
Soft Spots Inside
Acorn squash can sometimes turn orange, which is completely fine. But the presence of soft spots on the vegetable is a clue for the acorn rot. In this case, it has gone bad and can no longer be used.
The Touch Of The Vegetable
Generally, the acorn squash tends to get soft as the shelf life increases. If the vegetable is not firm, it means it’s no longer good for cooking.
A Keen Look At The Stem
The stem will give you useful tips. Closer attention to the stem of the vegetable will let you know if it is old.
The stem of bad acorn squash will be limp.
The Shell Has To Be Checked
The harder the shell of the squash, the better it is for consumption. When you press on the shell, it should be tough, and there should be no pressure.
If you press on the squash and you do not feel the hardness, it has gone bad. It is time for the fruit to be thrown away.
Keep Track Of The Time
It is advised to ask the seller about the time it was picked. Acorn squash usually takes 80-100 days to ripen. Asking the question will give you the answer in terms of the freshness of the vegetable.
Anything more than 100 days means the squash is no longer fit to be used.
Choosing the right storage conditions plays a crucial role in the vegetable getting spoiled. Acorn squash is usually devoid of becoming rotten when kept in the dark and cool space.
The acorn squash is generally one of the vegetables that can be stored for a long time. The storing conditions can indicate if the vegetable is at the rim of getting rotten.
Tapping The Vegetable
Ripe usable squash will sound hollow once you tap on it. If the vegetable is not hollow, it has gone bad and can no longer be used. Another easy way to determine the usage is by placing it in water.
Once it is placed in water, it should float; if it doesn’t float, it must be disposed of. This is one of the simple ways to determine if the acorn squash has gone bad.
Check The Surface
The surface of the acorn squash should not be shiny. It should be dull and matte and should have hard, thick skin. If the surface is shiny, there may be cuts, cracks, and spots on the skin. This is an indication that the vegetable has gone bad.
If the skin can be cut very easily, it means it’s time to dispose of the vegetable. The Acorn squash is at its peak when it has a deep green color. The vegetable can also have a tinge of orange.
The easiest way to find out if the squash has gone bad is to touch the vegetable. It should not be mushy, start leaking liquids, or feel empty. If the squash is mushy, it should be immediately tossed out.