Up until about three years ago, I always thought fall and winter squashes other than pumpkins and butternut were for cute holiday decor, not for eating... Man was I missing out.
I love butternut squash but they can be a bit of an effort to break down to cook at times. I had heard how delicata squash was easier to handle but just as buttery and creamy as butternut. Naturally, I had to give this a go. Korean food has a ton of squash in a lot of classic dishes, so I grew up loving the flavor of all squashes. I know some people don't have the same affinity for them as I do, but I think even the more squash-indifferent people would really enjoy this recipe below.
Squash is a really great food choice to those who are watching their weight and/or trying to improve their body composition (lose body fat/increase lean muscle tissue). I think most people have now heard of spaghetti squash as a calorie and carb-friendly alternative to traditional pasta noodles, and people are using zucchini for the same purposes now.
Delicata, butternut, and acorn squashes I find to be just as hearty and satisfying as something like a sweet potato- AND for 1 cup cooked of delicata in particular, you get 40 calories/0g fat/9g carb (4g fiber/4g sugar)/1g protein. Compare that to 1 cup of cooked sweet potato which racks up 180 calories/0g fat/41g carb (7g fiber/13g sugar)/4g protein.
I actually love sweet potatoes and they're a fantastic source of nutrient-dense carbs, but I say the squash wins for realistic quantity control. I felt like I was so full after a few slices of these (probably around a cup full/40 calories), whereas I am rarely full after about 2 spoonfuls of sweet potato (40 calories).
Onto the recipe! Also, if you notice the plating and settings looking different- it is! I was at my momma's house. Loved shooting in different lighting and of course having new plates to play with.
Roasted Delicata Squash
1 medium Delicata Squash
1 tbsp EVOO or Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Raw Coconut Sugar
~1 tsp Pink Himalayan or Sea Salt
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking tray with aluminum foil (better for browning than parchment paper). You can also use a glass baking dish, but it may not brown as well.
2. Wash squash thoroughly with lukewarm water, using a brush or your hands to rub any dirt off that might still be on the skin. Slice squash in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle (and save those for later!). Continue to cut squash in slices to make half-moon slices.
3. Place squash, EVOO (or coconut oil), coconut sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir until squash is evenly coated and well mixed.
4. Place squash on foil-lined baking tray, cut-sides down. Bake for 10 minutes, and then using a spatula, flip squash over to bake on the other side for another 10 minutes. Repeat once more, to total a baking time of about 25-30 minutes. Squash should be golden brown on the edges and buttery-tender and easily sliced through.
*Optional: you can also bake the squash seeds on the side! I just sprinkled a bit of salt over them and spread them over another piece of aluminum foil- then popped it next to the baking tray with the squash in the oven.
5. Cool for a few minutes before serving. Perfect for a snack, or a side dish- I'm planning to cut up my leftovers to use on a salad too!
Recipe Step Gallery & more final photos below!