{Gardening} Plans for 2015

I.am.so.ready.for.warm.weather!

It’s been a very long winter. We’re suffered through the coldest February on record. We’ve survived 119 inches of snow thus far (more than Buffalo and Rochester). Oh, plus it’s nearly Mid-April, and until this week, we still had snow in parts of our yard. Grrr! On a happier note, my crocuses are blooming and they’ve multiplied since last year.

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{Recipe} Squash, Squash, Squash

Even though I am eagerly awaiting summer and consistent warmer temperatures, I still find myself obsessed with winter squash! (Okay, I’m also obsessed with sweet potato, but that’s a different blog post.) Though it is not to be mistaken with summer squash as I still haven’t developed a taste for that. Well, I’ll eat it fried. Then again, I’d probably eat anything fried!

It’s a relatively recent fascination. I had never consumed acorn squash, for instance, until last year. My CSA share, thanks to Early Morning Farms (neighbor to my place of employment), expanded my horizons and taste buds. I fell in love with a variety they grow called delicata; its a long cream colored squash with dark green lines. It is divine! Unfortunately, it is long gone from the stores, so I have been consuming butternut squash and acorn mostly in recent months to fill the delicata-void.

So how do I eat it? Occasionally I’ll make a soup with it, but largely, I just bake squash. I love the texture this way, plus it’s simple to prepare. Yes, it takes a little bit of time in the oven, but basically you just cut in half, remove seeds, brush it with something, and bake. EAT!!

Squash is sometimes referred to as a power food because of its health benefits like being a high source of potassium, antioxidants, and nutrients known as carotenoids (like beta carotene). I try to follow a whole food and high fruit/vegetable diet to help curb my chronic urticaria and improve my overall health, so this is definitely a fruit (yes, because it has seeds) that is often found on my dinner plate. Tonight I’m eating it alongside some yummy chicken!

 

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash (or butternut or delicata)

Favorite “grease”

Seasonings, to taste

 

How to bake:

Preheat oven to 375

On a cutting board with a sharp knife, carefully cut squash of choice lengthwise. Scoop out seeds (which you can later bake and eat) and membrane. Use your favorite grease…. like butter, olive oil, margarine spread, or coconut oil, ….. and brush the insides. Place the squash skin side up on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 45 -60 minutes. The skin will brown and the insides will be very soft. Afterward, season as you like. Sometimes I simply use kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, and other times I use my favorite garlic salt. It doesn’t need much.

Easy! And hardly a recipe at all.

Acorn Squash is readily available year round

Acorn Squash is readily available year round

Xander says it reminds him of a pumpkin.

Xander says it reminds him of a pumpkin.

I bake mine skin side up!

I bake mine skin side up!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!