Warm Maple Squash
Even if you're not mad for vegetables, it's hard to resist this sweet veggie treat. And it's sunny orange color just might give you a little glow on a cloudy day!
Equipment: microwave, sharp knife, microwave-safe dish
How long does it take?
What's in it?
1 acorn squash
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons margarine (without hydrogenated fat)
How to make it:
Step 1: Prepare the squash.
Wash the squash. Slice it in half lengthwise (squash can be stubborn so you may want to ask an adult to help cut the squash in half if you aren't comfortable using a knife). Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and pulp and discard them.
Step 2: Season the squash shells.
Place the two squash shells into a microwave-safe dish. Place 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of margarine into each half, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Step 3: Nuke it!
Cover the squash with plastic wrap and cook on high for 5 to 7 minutes in the microwave, until the squash feels tender (you can check it with a fork). Carefully stir the maple syrup into the cooked squash using a fork.
You can eat this sweet squash straight out of the shell. Leftover squash can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Calories 155, Protein 2 g, Carbohydrate 36 g, Fat 2 g (saturated fat 1 g), Dietary Fiber 3 g, Vitamin A 904 IU (113% of RDA), Vitamin C 24 mg (47% of RDA), Thiamin 28% of RDA, Magnesium 72 mg (26% of RDA)
What's in it for you?
Bright yellow-orange acorn squash is a vitamin star! Squash is a tasty way to get your vitamin A and C, which help keep your skin and eyes healthy. They can also help your body fight off colds and flu.
Margarine is a healthy alternative to butter—sort of. Some margarines contain unhealthy hydrogenated fats (also called trans fatty acids). The bottom line? Always check the Nutrition Facts label and choose a margarine that doesn't contain hydrogenated fats.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can scoop out the leftover squash and purÃ©e it to make a sunny soup. Just add water or low-sodium vegetable broth to get the desired consistency. If you like your food with a little spice, add a drop or two of hot sauce or a pinch of ginger to the mix. For a creamier soup, add some low-fat milk or silken tofu.
Fall is harvest time. Fresh vegetables are everywhere in supermarkets, farmstands, and in the garden. Eating fresh local produce in season gives you the best tasting vegetables with the least amount of handling. There are oodles of types of squash. If you like acorn squash, try Hubbard or butternut as well.