Cranberry Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

White Flowers

The temperatures have dropped here in Georgia as the leaves have begun to change. I definitely crave more comfort food in the Autumn and Winter and use my oven and stove top more than other time of the year. I had an abundance of acorn squash lying around since there was such a good deal so this dish was created out of a little experimenting (a strong desire to clear up my counter space too!). It's a great idea to buy in season for the freshest and most nutritious produce and the least expensive cost. Look for great deals on apples, squash, potatoes, and brussel sprouts and of course one of my favorites....beets!

      One of my favorite Autumn vegetables is butternut squash but as delicious as it is it's a labor of love to peel and cut up ( I always say a little prayer for fear I'm going to lose a digit cutting into those seriously dense squashes!). Acorn squash, when prepared as I did for this recipe, is fairly easy and much less time consuming and you can do it while keeping all ten of your culinary kitchen helpers. There's no need to peel or cut anything and while it's baking you can easily assemble your filling on the stove top to have a meal on the table in about a half an hour.

     In keeping with many of my meals this one is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and paleo but by no means tasteless! It's packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and calcium from the squash as well as vitamin K from the cranberries and apples along with fiber and antioxidants. So as you can see the Autumn weather brings us plenty of good nutritious vegetables to incorporate into our daily diet which is great because you know cold and flu season is soon to descend upon us. Arm yourself with a well nourished body to fight of what life brings your way!

Ingredients

  • 5 Acorn Squash, cut in half

  • 1 Lb. Ground Mild Italian Sausage

  • 2 C Celery, chopped

  • 1 Large Apple, chopped

  • 1 Small Onion, diced

  • 1 C Cranberries

  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon

  • 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg

  • 1 Tsp Arrowroot Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Water

  • Coconut oil

  • Salt

  • Thyme

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 425 and line your baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. While the oven is preheating slice your acorn squash in half lengthwise. I find it easiest to cut the squash where it naturally indents from the top to bottom. Remove the seeds with a spoon and discard then rub the inside of the squash with coconut oil and sprinkle salt over the top. Place the acorn squash cut side down on your baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.

     While your squash is baking cook the Italian sausage over medium heat until browned. Add the chopped celery, apples, cranberries, and onion. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg over the top and stir. Cover and cook on medium low until the cranberries skin begins to pop (about 10 minutes). In a small bowl mix the arrowroot powder and water until combined and add to the pan. Stir well and remove from heat.

     Turn the baked acorn squash over to cool and scoop the cranberry/apple mixture into each individual acorn squash. Sprinkle with salt and top with fresh thyme. Serves 8

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Tea Pot