Sunday, November 16, 2014

Acorn Squash Roasted with Maple Syrup and Vanilla

Acorn squash roasted with Maple Syrup and Vanilla

For years I've walked right past the Acorn Squash at our local markets.  I simply didn't know what to do with them.  Do you eat the skin?  How would you peel them?  Do they taste weird?  Would my family like them?

Oh my goodness, why did I wait so long??  Often I preach to Liv that she needs to be more adventurous and try new things, but now I think it's high time I listened to myself.

Tender and buttery, acorn squash has a light sweetness with slight nutty overtones, and it's positively irresistible when roasted with maple syrup and a splash of vanilla.

Acorn squash roasted with Maple Syrup and Vanilla
A native to the Americas, squash, including acorn, has been found in archaeological digs in Ancient Mexico dating back to before 4,000 BC, it was a staple in the American Indian diet.  A good source of fiber and potassium, the acorn squash also serves up Beta-carotene and vitamins C and B.

Difficult to peel when raw with it's ridged sides, the acorn squash is often roasted either halved or in slices, then scooped out of its skin.  

Looking for pure simplicity, I took our squash, scooped the pulp and seeds (saving the seeds to roast!) and sliced the flesh into 3/4-inch slices.  Brushing with a mixture of butter, maple syrup and vanilla adds a touch of sweetness as everything caramelized in the oven, and the skin cut easily off when done.

Kicking myself for waiting so long to try these beauties, they won't be a stranger in our house any longer.  I'm now on the search for more acorn squash recipes and would love to hear your favorites in the comments below!  Have a link??  Share away!

Acorn squash roasted with Maple Syrup and Vanilla

Acorn Squash Roasted with Maple and Vanilla
Tender, buttery and with a slightly nutty taste, roasting brings out the natural sweetness of these beauties as they caramelize in the oven.
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1 acorn squash, halved
1 Tbs butter (we use Earth Balance butter alternative)
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
splash of vanilla extract - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste (we used freshly ground Pink Himalayan)
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Scoop the seeds and pulp from the squash, reserving seeds to roast at a later time.

Melt butter, then add maple syrup and vanilla.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

Cut the squash halves in half again, then cut into 3/4 to 1-inch slices.

Coat squash with syrup mixture (I placed mine in a bowl and tossed them, but you could also brush both sides if that's easier).

Place slices on a silicone mat lined baking sheet (or parchment paper, or a sheet sprayed with cooking spray) and sprinkle with salt to taste.  Place baking sheet into the oven and roast squash slices until tender.  Roasting time will depend on the thickness of the squash - our 3/4-inch thick slices too about 23 minutes.

Remove from oven and season with pepper.  Place on a serving plate and enjoy.

Pure maple syrup, grade b
Pure Maple Syrup brings a natural sweetness to the squash as it roasts


  1. Kim,
    Acorn squash is my favorite squash. My Mom used to bake them, when she mad a meatloaf dinner, and I have done the same. We always fill the squash with apples, or onions, bacon, or even Quinoa. I have sliced them and roasted them, an idea I will have to try.

  2. I've been on a maple syrup kick lately. I need some of this squash in my life.


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