Acorn squash is abundant and affordable in the winter, and makes a great side to dish to many fall and winter meals. It’s loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber making it a nutritious addition to your meals, and it’s also lower in calories than other winter side dishes such as potatoes. And best of all acorn squash is extremely easy to prepare.
The very easiest way to prepare acorn squash is to simply halve or quarter it, scoop out the seeds and roast in the oven. Brush the insides with a little olive oil or butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then bake in a 400F oven for 30-45 minutes, until soft throughout.
Try the following seasoning additions for variety:
Sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped walnuts or pecans Drizzle with honey or maple syrup Top with a small amount of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese Sprinkle with cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper
Another easy way to add acorn squash to your diet is to roast and purée the squash. Simply roast in the oven, peel, then process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Use the purée as a base for soups, or in place of crushed tomatoes for homemade pasta sauce or chilli. Squash purée has more nutrients and vitamins than tomatoes, and after seasoning the taste is very similar. This is a great way to sneak some extra nutrition into your family’s diet!
A simple variation on roasted acorn squash is a squash-vegetable mash. This is often popular with kids, and allows you to experiment with different flavours that your family enjoys. Simply roast (or boil, but roasting preserves the nutrients) the squash, then mash with a bit of butter or oil of your choice, the same way you would make mashed potatoes. Add any of the following vegetables to your mash for a different flavor:
Carrots Cauliflower Turnip Sweet potato Parsnips Rutabaga
Season your vegetable mash with simple salt and pepper to taste, or add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, cumin or any seasons you enjoy. The combinations are endless.
Acorn squash is a nutritious whole food that is simple to prepare, and makes a great addition to your family’s diet. In season they are fresh, delicious and best of all affordable, while being just as easy to prepare as potatoes or frozen side dishes. Experiment with different spices and seasonings and discover for yourself how simple it is to add prepare and enjoy acorn squash.