Spicy Maple Acorn Squash Made Easy In The Oven

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Spicy maple acorn squash is a mouthful. A hot peppery one at that! At first, acorn squash looks hard and uninteresting but just you wait! Before I became a plant-based advocate, I used to walk past the squash section at the market. Acorn squash never got my attention. It just looked like large oddly shaped dark green and/or orange rock.

Oh but how this vegetable transforms once in the oven. The heat breaks it down into a soft edible veggie. I roasted my acorn squash a few times before I started experimenting. Once I learned how to make spicy maple acorn squash, there was no turning back. I really liked the sweetness of the maple syrup and the heat that came from the cayenne pepper.

Chili Crunch Oil Takes Spicy Maple Acorn Squash To The Next Level

My first few times making spicy maple acorn squash were successful. Sometimes I used maple syrup with cayenne pepper. I even tried it with honey and red pepper flakes. But late last year I discovered a crunchy chili oil made by Chef David Cheng. Named after his restaurants, Momofuku which means lucky peach, his crunchy chili oil is made with three kinds of Mexican chilis, crunchy garlic and shallots. And boy does it bring the heat!

Nutritional Benefits of Acorn Squash

One half cup serving of cooked acorn squash provides almost 10% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin A. Vitamin A supports strong eye health. Acorn squash is also packed antioxidants. This is key to fighting cancer as well as helping to protect our bodies from a variety of health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure.

Acorn squash is fat free, low in cholesterol and a good source of fiber. I bet you weren’t counting on all of these health benefits when you started thinking about making spicy maple acorn squash! The other cool thing is that this winter squash is also easy on the budget with the prices for one acorn squash ranging from $99 cents to $2.99.

It took me a long time to get comfortable around squash. I loved ordering all kinds of squash at restaurants. And I loved eating spicy maple acorn squash whenever I saw it on the menu. But to buy them and bring them home? Well, that really wasn’t my style. That’s what’s so exciting about exploring plant-based foods. By trying new fruits, vegetables and grains, I actually get to expand my food vocabulary. And guess what? You do too! Have fun making this recipe and let me know if you do!

LA Dunn is a plant-based advocate is having fun getting to know the squash family. Are you looking for ways to get more fruits, grains and vegetables on your plate? Well, here are some ways to connect with LA:

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