Why eat seasonal produce? When you eat seasonal food you absorb more vital nutrients from the soil it has grown in. Locally grown food has more flavor, because it was picked when ripe. Try buying your acorn squash from a local farmers market and see if you can taste the difference. This is perfect fall food, especially if you are looking to eat less meat or meat-free!
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ACORN SQUASH?
Did you know that acorn squash is extremely rich in potassium? It contains almost 500mg of potassium in one cup. Potassium helps with proper brain function, nervous system function, and stabilizes your energy levels. If you notice you’re craving potassium-rich foods like coconut water or bananas this is usually an indicator that you’re really craving potassium. While those foods are great sources of potassium its good to incorporate a variety of different foods in your diet, which contain essential vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Food is medicine, after all, so we want to make sure we are feeding our body’s lots of beneficial foods. A rule of thumb we like to use when you may not know what to eat is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that vary in color. You may not know what nutrients they all specifically contain, but that doesn’t matter, because the variety of colors display their unique make-up, which your body will benefit from.
TRY IT FOR WEEKLY MEAL PREP
This is another great recipe to have on hand during the week, because it’s simple to make, satisfying and nourishing. Acorn squash is hardy, so it also reheats quite well. The wild rice and cannellini beans make this a substantial meal and provide a lot of protein and healthy carbohydrates, which are great to eat after an intense workout to build muscle.
Makes 4 Servings
2 acorn squashes (cut in half and deseeded)
2 Tbsp. avocado oil
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 small white onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 carrots (finely chopped)
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. chili flakes (optional)
2 ½ cups baby spinach (roughly chopped)
1 (14oz.) can cannellini beans (rinsed)
1 cup cooked wild rice
salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375’F and cut the acorn squash in half and take the seeds out. Place skin side down on the cooking tray, and drizzle 1 tablespoon avocado oil and salt over the squash.
3. Place in oven and cook until tender and tops are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the onion and garlic in a pan with1 tablespoon of avocado oil on medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, and assemble and prep the remainder of ingredients.
5. In a separate pan on medium heat add the pumpkin seeds and lightly toast for about 4 minutes until golden brown on each side. Set aside.
6. Now mix in the carrots, thyme, and chili flakes into the cooked onion and garlic. Cook for another 6 minutes, mixing frequently until carrots are tender.
7. Once carrots are cooked, add in the spinach, cannellini beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 8 minutes then take off heat.
8. Scoop the wild rice and bean mixture into the roasted acorn squash and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
Recipe and photography by Dorit Jaffe
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