Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sweet 'n Salty Acorn Squash (AIP)

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When the Paleo Mom posted her recent article about the benefits of blackstrap molasses in Blackstrap Molasses: The Sugar You Can Love!, I realized that I don't cook with it enough. I enjoy the taste of it in the right foods. I often add molasses to my Sweet Potato Cookies recipe and skip the raisins for more of a snickerdoodle-type cookie. Reading about all the nutritious benefits of it compared to other sweeteners was pretty exciting. Most of the other sweeteners aren't really applauded very often, so it's nice to see one that gets a little praise and makes us feel a little less guilty for indulging.

As I've said before, I'm not very big on sweets. Occasionally, I do go on short sprees where I crave it, or I desire the comfort food that contains it, but for the most part, my blog isn't very heavily laden with desserts. Molasses is a different kind of sweet, almost tangy, and so I think it has a place.

This recipe was also inspired from a few pictures on A Squirrel in the Kitchen's Instagram: @Squirrel_Kitchen. When I saw her slicing and roasting the squash with the seeds intact, I was intrigued.

Combine some squash and molasses, and we now have an easy but delicious side dish, a lovely breakfast item, or a simple dessert.

Sweet 'n Salty Winter Squash
1 winter squash (acorn, pumpkin, delicata or butternut)
2-3 tbsp coconut oil or preferred fat (should be liquid)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger (reduce the ginger by half if you like less of a "kick")
¼ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp ground cloves

Place the oven rack approximately 6 inches from the broiler. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Holding the stem, slice the squash into ¼-⅓ inch rounds. If you are Elimination Phase AIP, then you will want to remove all the seeds and compost or discard. If you have reintroduced seeds, leave the seeds intact. Arrange the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush the slices generously with coconut oil (or desired fat).

Combine the spices (excluding the sea salt) and sprinkle evenly over the squash. Sprinkle a couple dashes of sea salt per slice to taste (think "Salted Caramel"; you just want a hint of the salt).

Roast the squash approximately 20-25 minutes until lightly browned, the squash is soft, and the skin is crisp. (The seeds should also be well toasted if you kept them intact.)

Remove pan from oven and turn on broiler. Drizzle the squash with molasses. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes (do not move the rack). Keep a close eye to prevent burning. Remove when crispy and molasses is sticky and bubbling.

Allow to cool a minute or so before serving as the molasses is VERY hot.