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Use skin of acorn squash?

I've roasted a couple acorn squash. About to puree for soup or side dish. In the spirit of cooking with scraps (hello Lindsay-Jean), should i retain or discard the skin?

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

asked 14 days ago

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7 answers 441 views
Emma Laperruque
Emma Laperruque

Food Writer & Recipe Developer at Food52

added 14 days ago

Hi Nancy! My first thought is rubbing the skins with some oil, sprinkling with seeds, and baking into cracker-ish chips. Excited to hear what other people think of.

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Lori Terwilliger
added 14 days ago

I would say it depends on how soft the skins got in the cooking process. If they softened, so that it is possible to chew them easily, then you could simple puree the skins and flesh all together and use the puree as you wish. Technically the skins of all winter squash, all squash really, is edible. That doesn't mean it is pleasantly or easily done, or that it will be tasty. Some, like butternut, delicata or acorn, will cook up nice and soft, and can easily be eaten. Especially if the squash is young or small. However, the gnarly skins of squash like turbans or kobucha generally are best left to the compost heap. In the end, it depends on if cooking softened the skin, and what you think it tastes like. Edible is not the same thing as tasty.

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Nancy
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 14 days ago

@ Emma - think I'll save your idea for some shaved raw peel another time.
@ Lori - all good points. This time, the peel got very soft. Maybe I'll separate if from flesh, puree and taste (for bitterness, etc).
If good, I'll combine with the flesh.
If not, compost.

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MMH
MMH
added 13 days ago

The NYT food section has an article about winter squash this week. It says that acorn squash skin is not edible.

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Lori Terwilliger
added 13 days ago

No disrespect towards the NYT, but the skins of all squash are edible, with a few provisos. Older squash and some of the thicker gnarly skin varieties will not have skins which will soften enough in the cooking to be easily eaten. They become tougher and more fibrous as the squash grows and ages, making them pretty well inedible because you simply can't chew through them. Large or older acorn squash would fall into that category, as would things like turban, hubbard, or the kobocha squashes. If you intend to eat the skin, ideally you would purchase one that was organically grown as well. But from a food safety point of view, the skin is safely edible IF you can chew it and stand the taste. There are several cases of foods with external skins which we do not eat, not because they are poisonous but because of the limitations of our teeth and jaw power. Banana peels, corn shucks, and even watermelon rinds are all quite safe to eat, but are generally considered inedible for those reasons. Not to mention that they really don't taste good.

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Nancy
Nancy

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added 12 days ago

Well, now I'm a bit confused, after MMH reported NYT says acorn squash skin not safe to eat.
Searched web (perhaps should have done anyway before I asked here) and found many say it's ok to eat:
Epicurious, the kitchn, my recipes, cookingstack exchange and farmer foodshare, huffington post citing Everyday Health (the list goes on)...
Main qualification is that it is cooked enough.
Couldn't see the Times article (paywall).
@MMH or others - what was Times' reason or source for their statement?

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Nancy
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 9 days ago

Results: balance of reports said the skin was edible. Went ahead & made a fine fall soup with the acorn squash puree as background, some butter curry sauce, more fall vegetables and a little bit of cooked pasta.

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