Healthy and Festive Baked Acorn Squash

image credit: Alex Cheek

image credit: Alex Cheek

One of the season’s simplest and kid-friendliest vegetable recipes is baked acorn squash with brown sugar or sea salt. Similar to many recipes for pumpkin preparation, this recipe involves baking the squash until the inside is soft enough to be scraped out with a spoon (which takes about an hour), giving you plenty of time to complete other important tasks while the squash is in the oven. Also, like pumpkin, acorn squash can be spiced up with either salty or sweet seasonings depending on your tastes or your children’s tastes.

Do you and the kids have different preferences? No problem! You’ll be cutting the squash in half, so get adventurous and try two different seasonings on the two separate halves.

Try the following recipe on a cool fall night, and warm up your house and heart by baking one of fall’s finest veggies.

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar OR ½ Tbsp. sea salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, line a 9-by-13 inch baking pan with foil and fill the bottom with around a half-inch of water.
  2. Cut the squash in half crosswise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. The seeds can be discarded.
  3. Place the squash facedown (shell side up) in the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Remove the squash from the oven, turn it over, and pierce several times with a fork. Then place 2 tablespoons of butter (1 tablespoon in each half of the squash) in the indent where the seeds were. Season the squash with either sea salt or brown sugar. Leave squash face-up in pan and continue baking 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender.
  5. Serve warm by scooping squash out of shell and mixing in a bowl until seasoning and butter are evenly distributed.

—Hannah Borland, Beaumont Parenting Program Volunteer

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