Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Baked Acorn Squash - plus a slow cooker tip

Acorn squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables, always has been.  None of the other winter squash varieties quite measure up to the rich flavor of this golden squash.

There are many ways and ideas for baking acorn squash. My mom use to put brown sugar and butter in the center during the last 20 minutes. I prefer just butter or a butter substitute like Earth Balance.

If you are counting weight watcher points, add only the points for butter and/or pilaf (if added).

Here are some simple directions for baking squash:
Preheat oven to 350 or 375.  Either temperature will work, I like the higher temp. The squash seems to have a richer or deeper  flavor, if that makes sense.
Cut ends off squash and cut entire squash in half. Setting the squash on one of the cut ends helps hold it steady as you cut the squash in half.
Scoop out insides and seeds.
Place cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray or use a baking stone.
Bake 40 minutes. Turn halves over and lightly salt. Bake another 15-20 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp or preferred amount of butter or Earth Balance. Continue baking 5 minutes or until squash is fork tender. I like mine very tender. If it's not ready let squash continue to cook until it reaches desired doneness.

*Slow Cooker Tip
Rinse acorn squash.
Place the whole squash in a slow cooker.
Cook for 8-10 hours on Low setting.
Cut squash in half and remove seeds.
Season with butter, salt and pepper or try a touch of cinnamon.

It is also fun to add rice pilaf dishes in the middle of the baked squash. We add our pilaf when the squash is completely cooked. This is one we like, Gluten Free Brown Rice Pilaf.  Experiment and find a couple favorite pilafs to add variety to your meals.

Mix the pilaf in with the squash or eat it first.


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