LHI Tip of the Week – Flavors of Autumn Harvest

It’s not hard to notice that autumn is in full swing as the leaves crunch under your feet and the trees have turned vibrant shades of yellow and red. The fall season also offers delicious produce packed with vitamins and nutrients. One autumn vegetable to add to the menu this fall is the tasty acorn squash.

The acorn squash can be prepared many ways and eaten as an appetizer, side dish, main entree and even dessert! When selecting an acorn squash at the grocery store or farmers market, choose those that are dull and heavy for their size. Like many other fruits and vegetables, avoid acorn squash with soft spots or that has cracks. If you do not plan to use your squash right away you can store it in a cool dry place, away from extreme temperatures. Acorn squash can be stored for up to 3 months!

This fall vegetable is fat and cholesterol free, contains about 115 calories, 2g of protein and 9g of fiber per cup and is also high in vitamin A and vitamin C. The nutrients stored in this vegetable support positive prostate health in men and also protects against diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Folate in acorn squash helps to prevent birth defects and colon cancer.

Cook up a nutritious and delicious meal with acorn squash this week and all season long! Recipes can be found ranging from easy for the novice cook to difficult for the experienced chef.

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients: Yields 4 servings

2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 c. garbanzo beans, drained
1 c. uncooked couscous
1/2 c. raisins
1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 (14 oz. can chicken broth
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender. Dissolve the sugar in the melted butter. Brush squash with the butter mixture, and keep squash warm while preparing the stuffing.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Mix in the garbanzo beans and raisins. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
  4. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet, and mix in the couscous. Cover skillet, and turn off heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid for 5 minutes. Stuff squash halves with the skillet mixture to serve.
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