Fall Favourite: Roasted Acorn Squash with Butter, Maple Syrup and Cayenne

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People welcome fall because of many different reasons, such as road trips in the countryside to see brilliant fall vegetation or an abundance of foods that just taste better in the fall. Why? Most of the fall vegetables are frost tolerant and taste better when faced with colder weather. Those vegetables convert their stored starches into soluble sugars to prevent freezing and that makes the vegetables exponentially sweeter.

For that reason, fall is the best season when it comes to food and the Thanksgiving dinner recipes are more iconic and beloved than any other holiday’s recipes.  Our focus in this article will be on different types of squashes and we offer you some best recipes.

Types of Squashes:

Summer squash

This kind of squash is less mature and smaller and should be eaten sooner. It makes the skin is tender and filled with flavor and it doesn’t take a lot of seasoning or complicating cooking methods. Here are some summer squashes:

1)         Zucchini squash – A low-carb alternative to noodles, but it’s also tasty in stir-fries, soup, and roasts.

2)         Yellow squash – contains potassium and can be prepared in almost any way: grilled, baked, sautéed, or in casseroles.

3)         Pattypan squash (“patty pan”) – It is small in size, but dense with nutrients like vitamin C, folate, and manganese.

Winter squash

This category of squash s more mature and can be kept and eaten at a later date. It has a thicker, tougher rind that protects it from cold weather. It’s also packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamin A (as beta carotene), and vitamin C. Sweet and creamy flavor are characteristic for those squashes and they are beautiful roasted and mashed.

Here are some winter squashes:

1)         Acorn squash – This squash is filled with vitamins and magnesium. It can be eaten sliced in half and roasted, but it’s also delicious in soup.

2)         Butternut squash – It has a bright orange color and earthy-sweet flavor. It is packed with antioxidants and is delicious in soup or roasted.

3)         Spaghetti squash – It is a popular low-carb pasta alternative, usually combined with tomato sauce, pesto, and soup.

4)         Pumpkin – It is most commonly eaten in the pie, but it’s also delicious roasted and diced. It contains plenty of antioxidants and beta carotene, which are important for eye health.

5)         Kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin or buttercup squash) – It’s packed with antioxidants, provitamin A, and vitamin C. It has a flavor combined with potatoes and pumpkins. Tastes best in soup, boiled, roasted, or in tempura.

6)         Delicata squash – It is specific by its beautiful exterior with its white and green striped skin. Its skin is edible, so there’s no need to peel it. Tastes the best when it is roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

7)         Dumpling squash – It has the size of an apple and its rind is edible. Complement its mild but sweet flavor, by roasting it whole or cut it in half and stuff it with veggies.

Here are recipes that feature an appetizing fall food icon that takes only a few minutes to prepare.

  1. a) Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup and Cayenne Pepper

This recipe is a beautiful addition to a Thanksgiving dinner, very delicious and easy to prepare. You can also substitute the acorn squash for another variety of winter squash, or try out the savory version below.

Ingredients:

–           1 1/2 pound acorn squash

–           2 tablespoons maple syrup

–           1 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter, (coconut oil can be also an alternative)

–           Sprinkle of cinnamon, to taste

–           Sprinkle of salt, to taste

–           Sprinkle of cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions:

1)         Preheat oven to 400 °F

2)         After washing and drying the squash, carefully cut it in half lengthwise.

3)         Scrape the seeds and pulp, with a spoon, from each half;

4)         Discard or set aside to roast the seeds with seasoning

5)         Using a spoon or baking brush, spread coconut oil over each half,

6)         Glaze the squash with the maple syrup, and sprinkle on the cinnamon, salt, and cayenne.

7)         Place the two halves in a dish or on a lined cookie sheet with the cut sides up.

8)         Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork

Recipe Notes

Depending on the size of acorn squashes (ranging from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds) you can adjust the cooking time appropriately.

  1. b) Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash

In this recipe instead of acorn squash is used butternut squash. The directions are the same in a recipe above, but the roasting time should be adjusted to about 45 minutes. Be sure that the squash is tender before removing the halves from the oven.

  1. c) Savory Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

–           1 1/2 pound acorn squash

–           1 tablespoon olive oil

–           Sprinkle of garlic powder, to taste

–           Sprinkle of salt, to taste

–           Sprinkle of rosemary, to taste

–           Sprinkle of fresh thyme, to taste

Directions:

1)         Wash and cut the squash in half lengthwise

2)         After scraping out the pulp and seeds, add the spices and brush the olive oil on the halves.

3)         Roast the two halves in a dish or on a lined cookie sheet with the cut sides up for 50–60 minutes on 400 °F, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

Sources:

  1. www.healthline.com
  2. www.southernliving.com
  3. theheartysoul.com
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