The rich, buttery flavors of winter squash are hard to resist!  Deep orange squash such as acorn and butternut are loaded with nutrients such as vitamin A and Fiber, and can be used in a variety of recipes. 

Selection

  • Feel heavy for its size
  • Free of damage, wrinkles, blemishes, soft spots
  • Should have 1” of stem intact (to prevent drying)
  • Butternut squash:  Even, creamy orange skin, little or no green streaks
  • Acorn squash: Deep green skin with an “orange patch” (indicates ripeness), minimal blemishes.
  • Excellent for baking; butternut is also great for mashing
  • Roast cut side down, 400°F, 40-45 minutes.  Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of butter if desired. 

Storage

  • Cool dry pantry up to 2 months
  • Refrigerate cut squash up to 4 days
  • Freeze cooked squash removed from skin

 

Nutrition:  Winter squash is a nutrient dense super food.  Good source of fiber, potassium and several B vitamins. 

 

Health Benefits: Excellent source of carotenoid antioxidants.  Carotenoids have both protective and anti-inflammatory effects, helping reduce risk for chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Sausage, Apple, and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups cooked brown/wild rice blend (such as microwavable Uncle Ben’s or Minute Rice)

1 pkg. (12 oz.) Meijer Chicken Sausage Links (Roasted Garlic and Asiago flavor), diced

2 acorn squash, halved through the middle and seeded

1/2 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 large Michigan Gala, Jonagold, Honeycrisp or other semi-tart apples, peeled, cored and diced

1/4 cup Meijer dried cranberries

2 Tbsp. pecans, chopped

1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 tsp. McCormick ground cinnamon 

1/4 tsp. McCormick ground cloves