There are certain vegetables that remind us of specific seasons. Acorn squash is one of those fall vegetables. Acorn squash’s skin is thick and dark green, sometimes with orange patches and ridges that run lengthwise. The flesh is yellow-orange in color and has a sweet and nutty flavor. This squash is hearty and is considered a starchy vegetable along with other winter squash varieties. You can often find a small acorn squash, making it ideal when cooking for 1-2 people.
Nutritionally, acorn squash is a good source of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. It is a good source of thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin K along with several minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese.
People often don’t prepare acorn squash because the tough exterior is hard to cut and cooking time is generally 1 hour. Marlene Koch, a fellow registered dietitian and cookbook author, shares her secret for acorn squash in her latest cookbook “Eat What You Love”. Her ideas result in acorn squash that is easy, quick and delicious and everyone from adults to kids will enjoy scooping out this sweet vegetable.
Sweet and Easy Acorn Squash
2 small acorn squash (about 1 ¼ pounds each)
½ cup sugar-free maple flavored syrup
4 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
4 teaspoons butter
- Prick the squash in several places with a sharp knife and place it in the microwave whole.
- Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove and cut the squash in half lengthwise. When cool enough to handle, scoop out seeds with a spoon. Pour 2 tablespoons maple syrup into each half and place flesh side up in a microwave-safe baking dish.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the bottom of the dish and cover dish tightly with plastic wrap. Place back in the microwave for 3-4 minutes or until flesh is very soft when poked with a fork. Remove plastic wrap and place 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, if desired, and 1 teaspoon of butter into each cavity.
Nutrition Information per serving (½ cup):
Calories 95, Carbohydrates 22g, Total Fat 4 g, Protein 1 g, Fiber 4 g, Cholesterol 10 mg, Sodium 100 mg