Maple Glazed Delicata Squash

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If I was forced to pick one recipe that truly symbolizes fall for me, this would be it.  I’m a devoted fan of the delicata squash and this simple recipe brings out the best of its flavors.  It is sweet, earthy, and totally addicting!

We grew lots of delicata on our farm when I was growing up.  A wooden crate filled with winter squash ended up living on the landing heading up to my room most winters (which gives you a sense for the chilly temps on those stairs!).  I’d pass the crate daily and watch as delicatas, butternuts, and acorns dwindled throughout the season.  I enjoyed all the squashes, but delicata was always my favorite.  Once you try this recipe you’ll understand why.

Maple Glazed Delicata Squash Ingredients (serves 2):

3 delicata squashes, washed well, seeds removed, and cut into half moons
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
salt to taste

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After slicing the squash, toss it with the olive oil and syrup and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until nicely browned.  Check the squash at least once while its baking and flip/mix to make sure all sides are cooking evenly.

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You should be able to smell your squash as it nears the 30 minute mark.  A warm, sweet, squashy scent will come billowing out of your oven.  Enjoy it – it’s one of the best!  Toss the squash again when you pull it from the oven and sprinkle with salt.  Eat the squash warm as a delicious side dish or salad topping, and enjoy it later as leftovers (cool or warm).

A few things to note –

I prefer to leave the skin on my delicata squash (and almost all squash for that matter).  It adds fiber and tastes great.  Delicata has particularly thin skin, so it doesn’t interfere with the consistency and helps keep the half moons held together.  Definitely try to buy organic if possible since you’ll be eating the skin.

Squash is a nutritional super-star and delicata is no exception.  Squash is nutrient dense, high in fiber, and filled with antioxidants.  Most people are familiar with the high levels of beta-carotene that create the bright orange color, but delicata also offers potassium, vitamins C & B, magnesium, and manganese.

And don’t forget to roast the seeds!  For some reason most people only think about roasting pumpkin seeds, when in fact all squash seeds are fabulous roasted.  I like to toss mine in a bit of olive oil, spicy paprika, and salt before roasting.

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