Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Roasted Candy Winter Squash Recipe

Good Food

Get Kids to Love Healthy Vegetables

Trying to get kids to eat their vegetables has been the bane of parents for generations. In fact, the veggies children despise most are the same today as the ones my mom tried to get me to eat growing up: those that are not only the most flavorful if they are prepared properly but also the ones that provide the best nutrition for growing bodies. 

A case in point is winter squash which is high in carotenoids and anti-oxidants as well as loaded with Vitamins A and C. In fact, just a cup of cooked winter squash has a whopping 214.1% Daily Value of Vitamin A and 32.8% of Vitamin C according to World's Healthiest Foods.

Farmers Market Squash
Organic Red Kuri Squash, McGrath's Farm, Oxnard, CA

Like others on kids unpopular list this vegetable is often prepared in the most boring of ways: boiled and mashed with little or no seasonings. Why not step it up a bit and try something different and simple the next time you prepare squash?  The goal is to use fresh squash, not frozen or canned, to bring out the natural beauty of the color, nutty sweetness and texture of this oft hated vegetable. 

If you try the recipe below and your experience is anything like mine, you may convert some young naysayers into hard core winter squash fans. Come to think of it I just made this for my family for Thanksgiving for the first time and they are already begging for me to cook it again.

Fresh out of the oven, this smells as good as it tastes

Roasted Candy Winter Squash


This recipe can be prepared with any of the rich dark yellow, orange or orange-red winter squash that you might find at your local market during fall and winter. If possible seek out organic produce for this dish as you will get the additional benefits of knowing that no pesticides were used in growing the food you are eating. The amount of squash you use depends on the type and size you choose to use. One word of caution: Make extra, because all or most of those you serve this to will likely want seconds.

4-5 Acorn Squash

2 Carnival Squash
1 Red Kuri Squash

1/4 c. fresh Rosemary leaves, stems removed

3 T. virgin olive oil
3 T. of dark brown sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. coarse fresh-ground black pepper

Optional: Add roasted pumpkin seeds to add crunch and more nutrients to this dish.

All the ingredients are tossed in a large mixing bowl

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Remove seeds, scrape off excess fibers & slice squash into thick segments
3. Add all other ingredients & gently toss
4. Pour into a roasting pan that is at least 2" deep
5. Roast for 20 minutes in center of oven
6. Gently turn over all slices to brown both sides evenly
7. Continue cooking another 18-25 minutes until nicely browned
8. Arrange & serve on a platter, either hot or cold
9. Leftovers (in the remote event that there are any left) will keep in the refrigerator for several days

Using the freshest Rosemary leaves possible will enhance this dish's flavor

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