Monday, September 30, 2013

Autumn Market Partners: Apples and Winter Squash

by Audrey Hess

Apple Crisp

A different twist on apple crisp makes a duo with vitamin A-rich winter squash.  This version also bumps up the nutrient density with blackstrap molasses, which provides calcium and iron.

about 3 pounds apples--any variety you like
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups water

1 cup cooked, pureed winter squash/pumpkin
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 cups rolled oats

1.  Wash apples well, core and slice (peels can stay on --easier and provides more fiber!).  As you slice them, place them in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking casserole.
2.  Stir in the cinnamon.
3.  Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish alongside the apples.
4.  In a mixing bowl, mix the pureed squash, blackstrap molasses and olive oil.
5.  Stir in the rolled oats.
6.  Sprinkle this topping mixture over the apples.
7.  Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes, or until apples soften.

Tip for using winter squash:  Some recipes call for peeled, cubed winter squash.  To avoid what seems to be the dangerous endeavor of peeling raw winter squash, I prefer to cook the squash whole then scoop out its flesh and puree it (using a blender or food processor).  The winter squash puree can then be used in a recipe or frozen for future use.    To cook it, when I have the oven on for some other purpose, I puncture the skin at a few places with a knife, place the whole squash in a baking dish and let it bake until the flesh is tender.   The squash can also be cooked in chunks by simmering it in water, but I find that some of the flavor tends to be lost to the water this way.

Apple-Squash Soup

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 apples, chopped
cooked, pureed flesh of one butternut or other winter squash  (see above tip)
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional--1-2 cups water, broth or coconut milk

1.  Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.
2.  Add the cumin, cinnamon and ginger and stir while continuing to heat for about 1/2 minute.
3.  Add the apples, squash and salt and bring to a simmer for about 1/2 hour.
 Note:   This yields quite a thick consistency.  If you prefer a thinner consistency, add an optional liquid at the beginning of the simmering stage. 

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