Acorn squash is probably my favourite squash to grow and eat. It is considered a winter squash which has a sweet yellow/orange flesh inside. From a growing perspective I love that it is much more contained than other squash. It grows around a central point rather than trying to take over the whole garden. From an eating perspective it is naturally low in calories and full of good for you nutrients. It is high in vitamin C and a good source of B vitamins as well. But mostly it is delicious.
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So first things first, go and find yourself an acorn squash. Preferably grown in your back yard, but any acorn squash will do. I have mine right here, I didn’t grow this one, but for 2020 I plan to grow a bunch in my garden so that I have them all winter to munch on. Given they only last about 1 month in a cold cellar, I will have to freeze most of them.
Grab a sharp knife and VERY CAREFULLY cut the squash in half. It is also important NOT to try and cut through the stem. That’s a great way to end up in the hospital getting stitches rather than eating some delicious roasted acorn squash. That stem is thick, so make sure to leave it it on one side of the cut squash.
Now we have to scoop out all the seeds. If you’re trying to be more sustainable then this is a great time to save some of those seeds for next year! Saving seeds is a great way to ensure that you don’t keep buying them year over year.
If you didn’t grow the acorn squash yourself, then if you are planning to save seeds make sure you get an organic one to increase your chances that the seeds grow. A lot of regular grocery store fruits and veggies are treated with grown inhibitors or irradiated to stop them or their seeds from being reused. I start all my seedlings (including my acorn squash) in my Aerogarden Farm Plus and then transfer them to pots and eventually outside.
Once the seeds are all out and the cavity is clean. Pour in some olive oil and rub it all over the cut side of the squash. Look at how pretty it looks.
Next, you will want to flip them cut side down onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Pop them into a pre-heated oven at 350F for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Once the time is up, remove them from the oven and carefully flip them over so that the cut side is facing up.
At this point you have two options. You can fill the cavity with butter and maple syrup and cut each half into 3 pieces and serve. Or you can scoop out the flesh and pop it into a casserole dish and top with the butter and maple syrup. Today I opted for the mashed version as we had a lot of people over for dinner.
Roasted Acorn Squash
- Cookie sheet
- Aluminum foil
- 1 Acorn squash
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Maple syrup (real maple syrup!)
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Remove random pots and pans from your oven and pre-heat to 350F.
- Cut the squash in half, making sure to NOT cut through the stem.
- Remove the seeds from the squash.
- Pour ½ tablespoon of olive oil in each side of the squash.
- Rub the oil over the entire cut side of the squash.
- Place the squash face down on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet.
- Place the squash in the oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove the squash from the oven and flip them rightside up.
- If you are serving the squash in halves then put ½ Tbsp of butter and ½ Tbsp maple syrup in each half and serve warm.
- If you are serving the squash mashed then remove the flesh and place it in a casserole dish. Top with the maple syrup and butter and serve warm.
Hopefully you enjoy this dish! What is your favourite type of squash?