Ending a Break/Sweet Spice Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have taken a huge break, making way for new things, and honestly, growing and learning more than I could have thought possible, or necessary.

I was exhausted and I just had no energy or time to pour into my passion projects. I have gathered ideas over the years but had no energy to pursue them. But I started really working on addressing many of the issues that were exhausting me so frequently, and began to confront them, one by one.

Then 2020, amirite? I was bitten by several ticks in the early spring and got Lyme. Then commenced a forced slow down and with that, I have been able to zero into what makes me feel live, and I realized this is part of my creative expression and it’s what I enjoy most. It’s an incredible pleasure to bond with people over food and it’s probably obvious that food is a love language for many of us that read food blogs.

I’ve been volunteering and creating programs that help to create connection and community through my church’s food pantry. It’s been a honor to be involved in this pressing issue and it allows me to bring my gifts and passion to the table. It needs many voices, so if you feel called to connect with people who are working to address food insecurity, I encourage you to do so!

Now, what you came for, the squash…

I started to make these over the fall, but acorn squash is thankfully available for most of the winter also, making this dessert a great go-to because of the use of pantry ingredients. Squash is so forgiving, can be overcooked slightly, stores for a long period of time, and can be make sweet or savory.

I am familiar with savory stuffed squash but I didn’t find sweet ones readily, so I just improvised and this was what I had at home.

Substitution is a great way to make the most of your pantry; don’t have currants? That’s just fine—only use raisins or sultanas. Don’t have butter tea biscuits? Grab that handful of Nilla Wafters that is sitting in the back of the cupboard. You’re vegan? Substitute coconut oil for butter. I love how you will make it yours.

I’m excited to show you what I’ve been learning through herbalism, wellness, and nutrition over these last couple of years and to continue to share this space, together.

-Krista

Sweet Spiced Acorn Squash
serves 4

2 small acorn squash, washed
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 apples, chopped
4 tbsp currants
2 tbsp raisins
2 mejdool dates
1/4 cup pecans
3-6 petit buerre tea biscuits, broken up
3 tbsp quick cooking oats
1 tsp cinnamon, extra for sprinkling
1/4 tsp allspice
A few pinches salt
2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gently cut the stems off the squash. Cut the tops off squash and scoop the seeds out of the inside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and, with a pastry brush, graciously butter the inside of the squash, then sprinkle just a bit of cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Chop dates and pecan and toss them in a large mixing bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients, one by one, drizzling the rest of the butter and maple syrup over the top of the mixture. Mix well.

Spoon stuffing in the cavity of the squash and press gently to fill it well.

Place on a sheet pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.

Let it cool slightly. Serve with ice cream and maple syrup.