In our home, Heidi is by far the more experienced cook. That’s why Taft is always excited when one of his food experiments ends up tasting delicious. The recipe below is one of his successes. It’s got a sweet blend of fruit and squash, suitable for Thanksgiving, or any time you’re in the mood for comfort food.
This also happens to be Paleo and Whole30 approved. More specifically, this recipe is what happens when you’re trying to use that acorn squash that’s been sitting on your counter for three weeks… But you should also know that we were so excited about this recipe that it took less than three days for us to buy another squash, and that squash was devoured within three hours of purchase. You might want to add acorn squash to your shopping list this week.
This squash makes a tasty side with grilled chicken, chili, or just about any meal that needs a little veggie love to round it out. Six ingredients are required:
Acorn squash: naturally gluten free (Just wash it well.)
Apple: naturally gluten free (Wash it too!)
Coconut oil: naturally gluten free (Our Kirkland Signature jar from Costco has a gluten free label.)
Raisins: naturally gluten free (We used Sun-Maid natural raisins, which are processed in a gluten-free plant as explained on their website.)
Cinnamon: naturally gluten free (We used Costco’s Kirkland Signature cinnamon. We confirmed by phone that there is no chance of cross-contamination; all Kirkland Signature spices are processed in a gluten-free facility, last verified Nov. 2015. McCormick cinnamon is another safe choice.)
Mango juice: naturally gluten free (Our Welch’s 100% juice “mango blend” says it’s gluten free on the label.)
The recipe is easy to modify, so have some fun! Chopped dates could be used instead of raisins, or you could use apple juice instead of mango. Orange juice might give it a nice tang. Perhaps a dash of nutmeg? If you like a sweeter squash experience, you might experiment with adding extra fruit or juice. Our second squash was bigger than the first, and we might add more for a bigger squash next time.
So let’s tackle that squash! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Stand the squash upright (snap off the stem first if you need to), and use a large knife to cut it in half. BE CAREFUL. (We’re not going to be held responsible for you slicing your squash and fingers in half, people.)
Scrape out the seeds using a metal spoon, and then use a smaller paring knife to score the squash in a criss-cross pattern. This lets all the juicy goodness seep down into the squash while it bakes.
Fill a pan with 1/2 inch of water, and place the squash in it, cut side down. Once the oven’s ready, bake for 30 minutes.
While the squash is baking, cut and peel one slice, or about 1/8th, of an apple. Almost any kind should work for this—except Red Delicious (are those good for anything?). We used a Pink Lady we had on hand. Dice the slice.
After the first 30 minutes of baking, take the squash out and flip it over. (Leave the water.) Now split the diced apple between both halves, and add 1 tablespoon of raisins to each. Also add 1 tablespoon juice, 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, and a dash of cinnamon to each half.
Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until you can pierce the squash with a fork. The raisins, apples, juice, and oil should be looking pretty fantastic—see picture below.
Let cool for about 5 minutes. There are two ways to serve it. You can leave it in the shell, which is how you normally see acorn squash served. We, however, enjoy scraping the flesh/raisin-apple mixture out, and serving it mashed (see picture). It’s best served warm.
If you try Apple Raisin Squash and love it, or find your own unique way to make it, let us know in the comments!