Baked Acorn Squash

What do you think of when you see a pile of winter squash near the back of most fresh produce aisles? Does carrying it home to eat it cross your mind, or is it more of a fall table decoration?

Winter squash in particular offers many health benefits. According to an Organic Facts article, "winter quash can boost the immune system, prevent certain types of cancer, improve vision, protect the skin, strengthen the bones, reduce blood pressure, maintain fluid balance, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, improve digestion, and help maintain proper circulation."

A one cup serving of Acorn Squash has just 115 calories, 9 grams of fiber, 37% DV of Vitamin C and so much more. 

896 milligrams potassium (26 percent DV)
0.5 milligram manganese(25 percent DV)
0.3 milligram thiamine (23 percent DV)
88.2 milligrams magnesium (22 percent DV)
0.4 milligram vitamin B6 (20 percent DV)
877 IU vitamin A (18 percent DV)
1.9 milligrams iron (11 percent DV)
38.9 micrograms folate (10 percent DV)
1.8 milligrams niacin (9 percent DV)
90.2 milligrams calcium (9 percent DV)
92.2 milligrams phosphorus (9 percent DV)
0.2 milligram copper (9 percent DV) *

Acorn squash happens to be one of my favorite winter squashes to bake. Maybe it's the small size, or the fact that it actually resembles an acorn, or maybe it's the gorgeous contrast between the outer shell and the bright orange interior. I tend to choose acorn squash that are firm and have a dark green exterior. I've personally found they have the best flavor when baked. Using a cutting board, and a sharp knife, I cut them length wise down the middle. Then I scoop out the seeds, and in their place I add a heaping tsp of coconut oil, and a TBSP of maple syrup. Then I pop them in the oven on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 350-375 degrees. They are golden and bubbling when done, and Oh So Good! It's like your own mini pumpkin pie on a plate. I serve these alongside Carrot Kale Salad and Simple Salmon Patties. And I'll often add any leftovers to my breakfast the next morning. 

Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat on a daily basis can have a huge impact on your health. But while they may be good for you, it can be hard to get started. Subscribe to my newsletter, and you’ll receive instant access to my free 7 part nutrition series filled with tips, tools, and recipes. You'll also receive a printable shopping list designed by me, just for this series. Each week I’ll send you a short lesson about one colorful nutrient. By the end, you’ll be enjoying every color of the rainbow. Along the way, you’ll have learned valuable information about the role fruits and vegetables play in your health, and best of all you’re body will be thanking you.

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