Today’s recipe is inspired by the holiday season using a medley of warming spices mixed along with the slightly sweet taste of acorn squash. This Cranberry Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash is a simple effortless dish you can put together in a hour, most of this time is hands-off as it bakes in the oven. While you may think this sounds more like a dessert, it’s perfect if you’re looking for a vegan meal or shared as a side dish. It tastes even better the next day when the flavours have more time to soak in. I always take advantage when squash is in season, they are nutrient dense, versatile and make a perfect bowl. Less dishes to wash after dinner – YAY!
Squash usually isn’t thought of as being a high-fat vegetable, but it contains a healthy amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Its energy-sustaining complex carbohydrates, high fibre and B-vitamins help to balance blood sugar, increase energy and keep you feeling satiated. Acorn squash contains high amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin A and C particularly important in protecting cells from damage, reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. A perfect food to support you through the winter months.
Cranberry Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 apples, cored and chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (optional)
- *Cut squash in half lengthwise and with a spoon, remove pulp and seeds. In a large baking dish place squash cut-side down. Pour ¼-inch boiling water into dish. Place dish in oven and bake squash for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients to make stuffing. Remove squash from the oven after the 30 minutes. Turn halves over and stuff centre of each squash half with apple mixture. Return to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes (or longer) until squash and apples are tender.
– How to cut acorn squash: to prevent the acorn squash from rocking while cutting it, cut a small slice off the bottom to flatten it.
– When halving, cut through the stem end to the point rather than across the diameter.
– Save the acorn squash seeds to toast for snacking just as you would pumpkin seeds.
-If the squash is shiny and very dark green in color, then you know it’s not ripe yet. It should be a little dull in color with some orange coloring on the skin.
– Acorn squash can also be cooked whole. Pierce the skin in several places. Place on a baking sheet in 350-degree F. oven for about 1-½ hours. Squeeze the squash to test for doneness. When it yields to gentle pressure, it’s done. You can then cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and serve or cool and use the cooked innards.