Roasted Delicata Squash

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

Ingredients

1 medium Delicata Squash
1 tbsp EVOO or Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Raw Coconut Sugar
~1 tsp Pink Himalayan or Sea Salt

 

Recipe

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!

 More geometric patterns, surprise surprise.

More geometric patterns, surprise surprise.

 That caramelized goodness. Also liked the seeds better than pumpkin seeds!

That caramelized goodness. Also liked the seeds better than pumpkin seeds!