A satisfying aroma is coming from the oven. Soon we’ll be enjoying the tender texture and delicate flavor of a butternut squash.
Today I’m baking this colorful squash with a little gluten-free stuffing made from apples, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe a little butter or oil, too.
Butternut squash would be good baked with nothing but salt, pepper and butter. Lately though, we’ve been enjoying more apples since they’re in season. Adding chopped apples with a little spice and some nuts naturally complements the flavor of the squash.
I love using simple, whole foods like winter squash and apples. These gluten-free ingredients are easy to find. Better yet, the recipe is from before I went gluten-free. It doesn’t even need any modification for gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Butternut Squash Baked with Apple-Walnut-Cinnamon Stuffing
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Makes 4 large or 8 small servings
1 Medium Butternut Squash, about 2 pounds
2 Medium Apples
2 Tablespoons Chopped Walnuts (optional)
1 Tablespoon Butter, Ghee, Margarine (casein-free) or Oil
1 Tablespoon Agave, Honey or Brown Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Dash Nutmeg (optional)
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash the squash and the apples.
Cut the squash in half from stem to base. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center.
Lightly oil a baking pan. Lay the halves of the squash cut side down on the pan.
Bake until barely fork tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, core and chop or dice the apples. Stir in the nuts and sweetener.
Turn the squash over carefully on the baking sheet.
Scoop out a small cavity in the other end of each half so you’ll have 4 pockets for stuffing instead of 2.
Spread the butter, ghee, margarine or oil over the cut surfaces. (I use a fork to rub a pat of butter over the warm surface of the squash or my fingers to spread some oil.)
Fill the cavities with the apple/nut filling.
Sprinkle with more spice and salt as desired.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes until squash and filling are tender.
This frugal recipe is gluten-free, egg-free and meatless. It can also be casein-free, dairy-free and lactose-free with an appropriate butter substitute. Because it uses agave nectar and apples for sweetening, it’s low glycemic and refined sugar-free. With the oil and honey options, it can be used for a paleo diet.
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