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Healthy Eats and Repeat

Highlighting Food, Recipes, and Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle
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Acorn (Squash) Are Not for Squirrels


The main winter squashes I see sold in grocery stores are butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squashes. This summer, our office purchased a CSA (community supported agriculture) share from a local farmer.  Each week, we got a box of fruits, veggies, and herbs. Check out our sister blog "Know How, Know More" for recipes and information about the journey. Winter squash arrived in the last half of the CSA season, and we made some yummy recipes, including the one below.

Nutrition

Acorn squash are typically small, and if winter squash is new to you, they are a great one to try first. Plus they are packed with a variety of nutrients.

  • Buy: Choose whole acorn squashes that are firm and heavy for their size. Soft spots and bruising are signs that the squash may be starting to decay.
  • Price: Price is typically based on dollars per pound. So smaller squash will cost less.
  • Store: Store uncut squash at room temperature. Once cut and cooked, any leftover squash will need to be refrigerated or frozen.  Read instructions from the National Center for Home Food Preservation on how to freeze and can winter squash.
  • Prepare: There are many options for cooking squash, from microwaving to baking to pressure cooking and more. Watch our short Cooking with Winter Squash video to see some of these options in action. As most winter squashes have hard outer rinds, be careful when cutting with your knife.
  • Eat: Acorn squash is a mild tasting squash. Some ideas for using acorn squash include pureed soups, roasted squash, and baked goods. Don't forget to try roasting the seeds.

References:

Acorn Squash and Apple Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

1 cup acorn squash puree
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. Combine acorn squash puree, applesauce, apple cider, oil, sugars, and eggs in a large bowl until smooth.
3. Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Add to squash mixture, and stir just until ingredients are moistened. Lumps in batter are expected.
4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Baked Acorn Squash Puree. Heat oven to 400°F. Wash one medium acorn squash. Cut in half, and scoop out seeds. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil, placing squash halves cut side down. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a knife slides easily into squash. Let cool until easy to handle. Scoop out flesh. Puree in a food processor, or mash in a bowl with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Measure out 1 cup of puree.

Nutrition Information per 1 muffin: 140 calories, 6g total fat, (5g unsaturated fat), 85mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 3g protein



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