Stuffed Delicata Squash with walnuts is a heart healthy recipe - a choice loaded with omega-3 fats. The omega-3 fats help the heart by preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to
heart attacks. The walnuts in this recipe are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids; and they improve overall health by assisting with weight-loss. The satiety factor, to help curb hunger feelings is why walnuts are so important to any successful weight management plan. Delicata Squash, a winter squash, also contains omega-3 fats, along with being very low in calories; balancing the somewhat higher calories of the walnuts.
In addition, Delicata Squash is a an excellent source of vitamins A and vitamin C; a very good source of enzyme-promoting manganese and digestion-promoting dietary fiber; a good source of folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper and vitamin K.
The yogurt, being plain low-fat, in this Stuffed Delicata Squash provides many heart healthy benefits without a lot of fat as well. Yogurt contains phytosterols, which help block the cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestines and therefore assist in lowering cholesterol. The calcium in yogurt helps weight-loss by signaling the fat cells to produce less of the hormone cortisol and too much cortisol encourages the body to accumulate fat.
Both the onions and garlic, part of the allium family of vegetables in this Stuffed Delicata Squash recipe, benefit the heart and general health in many ways. Onions are rich in flavonoids, helping protect the heart from heart disease and also may reduce the risk of blood clots - leading possibly to heart attacks. Garlic may also decrease the risk of blood clots and help reduce blood pressure. Finally, Rosemary and sage provide a flavorful finishing touch.
2 delicata squash, cut in-half lengthwise and deseeded
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1½ cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons crushed rosemary
Preheat oven to 350°F. Drizzle olive oil in a pan over medium to high heat. Add onions, garlic powder and salt and sauté for about 3 minutes until soft. Stir in sage and cook until fragrant, for about 1 minute. Then stir in walnuts and set aside.
In a large bowl add yogurt and then the nut mixture. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary. Divide the stuffing between the squash halves, then sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary. Bake approximately 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork and tops are browning.
Makes 4 Servings.
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