It's only been the last few years that I've developed a taste for winter squash. Strange, because I've always liked sweet potatoes and it doesn't seem that butternut or acorn squash are that far removed from those. But for whatever reason, for most of my life I've just been sort of "meh" about winter squash dishes. I'm glad my tastes have changed!
This recipe is perfect for the fall/winter season. It calls for the sweet, mild acorn squash variety that is plentiful, and it turns golden brown when roasted. You can even eat the skin (washed, of course).
Acorn squash is easily digested and is high in Vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex. It's also high in beta carotene, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and potassium. If that's not enough, acorn squash is also known to help reduce inflammation; and finally, its "comfort food" qualities go a long way in satisfying cravings without sacrificing nutrition.
- 1 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey (maple syrup could be substituted if desired)
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 inch of water and place the squash in the tray, cut side down. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender when pressed.
In a skillet (I love my cast iron for this part) saute the onion and garlic in coconut oil over medium heat until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the cranberries, sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat until cranberries are soft and plump.
Add the walnuts and honey, stirring frequently until walnuts turn golden brown. Remove from heat.
When squash halves are cooked through, remove from oven and drain any remaining water from pan. Flip the squash halves right side up and fill the centers with the cranberry filling.
Sprinkle the edges of the squash lightly with coconut sugar and return pan to the oven for 3-5 minutes more until the sugar has browned.