Monday, January 11, 2010

GardenCuizine Recipe: Baked Nutty (Streusel stuffed Acorn Squash)

Baked Nutty
~Streusel stuffed Acorn Squash~

Low Sodium, High Fiber
This recipe was inspired by good friends who made us this memorable acorn squash vegetable side dish for a holiday get together. Their recipe used crumbled crackers in a buttery, aromatic, filling, and we all loved it! Name the dish whatever you would like, our friend's family called it Baked Nutty, and now we do too.

Today, we serve this slightly revised version of Baked Nutty with a streusel filling. Streusel is made with butter (or soy margarine), brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, spices and optional nuts. I love to have it ready-made and available to use; we always have a tub of streusel handy in our freezer. Streusel can be used to top squash, sweet potato casseroles, muffins, coffee cakes, fruit crisps, etc. 

The below short and sweet recipe is our favorite way to cook, garden fresh, acorn squash. Each half is stuffed with homemade sweet, nutty streusel and baked in the oven. You would expect the recipe for something so delicious to be more complicated to make, but It couldn't be any simpler. Baked winter squash is outstanding on its own in both flavor and nutrition.

Winter Squash
Acorn, Butternut, Hubbard, Sweet Dumpling, and Spaghetti squash are just some of the many types of winter squash available at the market, or that can be homegrown in your garden. This coming summer will be the first time we are going to grow our own acorn squash (Cucurbito pepo).

Acorn squash is ideal for this dish because, when cut in half, the hollow part in the center forms a bowl shape that is perfect for filling. Each half can be served as its own serving or, if they are really large, they can be quartered after being cooked. This elegant vegetable is suitable for company or holiday meals, especially Thanksgiving. Baked Nutty has become a regular on our fall and winter menus.
Putting it all together
Serves 4-8
Preheat oven to
375° F (190° C)

2 acorn squash
1 cup streusel (our favorite is streusel made with roasted pecans and ginger, recipe link below)
olive oil
fresh ground black pepper

sprinkle salt (optional, omit for low sodium. We usually leave it out because some of us have high blood pressure. Trust me, you'll never miss it)

This recipe is short and sweet:
  • First wash and dry each acorn squash
  • On a cutting board, carefully cut a sliver off the bottom ends and cut each squash in half
  • On a baking pan lined with foil, drizzle some olive oil
  • place the squash halves hollow side down and rub the cut sides around on the oil
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes (do not over-bake or the squash may collapse) 
  • When bottom edges are lightly caramelized, turn them over and carefully scoop out the seeds (they scoop out easy after cooking)
  • Season each half with salt (optional) and fresh ground black pepper
  • Fill each half with streusel
At this point, I may let the filled squash sit on the stove-top until the 
rest of the meal is just about ready
  • When you are almost ready to serve dinner, return the squash to the oven for a final 20 minutes
~ Buon Appetito!
    GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: Calculated using USDA Nutrient data
    Excellent Source: dietary Fiber, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Vitamin B6
    Good Source: Iron, Folate, Pantothenic acid

    1 cup (205g) baked squash, no added salt, no streusel: Calories 115; Protein 2.3g; total fat 0g (0%DV); Carbohydrate 30g; dietary Fiber 9g (36%DV); Calcium 90mg (9%DV); Iron 1.91mg (11%DV); Magnesium 88mg (22%DV); Potassium 896mg (26%DV); Sodium 8mg (0%DV); Manganese .496mg (25%DV); Vitamin C 22.1mg (37%DV); Thiamin .342mg (23%DV); Niacin 1.8mg (9%DV); Pantothenic acid 1.03mg (10%DV); Vitamin B6 .398mg (20%DV); Folate 39µg (10%DV); Vitamin A 877IU (18%DV), Omega-3 76mg

    Percent Daily Values (%DV) are reference values for adults and children age 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your personal daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.   

    Recipe GardenCuizine Streusel: Nutty Ginger Streusel
    Related Links:
    Winter Squash Nutrition and info CDC, Fruits and Veggies More Matters  
    Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chard and White Beans EatingWell Magazine Recipe
    Many varieties of Acorn Squash Dave's Garden
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