Celebrate the bounty of the harvest with this appealing, stuffed acorn squash. Heart healthy recipes include this popular fall vegetable, which is a rich source of vitamin A, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids.
Acorn squash also contains vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and 15% of the omega-3 fatty acids necessary for good health. It is also a good source of fiber. Acorn squash has many heart healthy benefits with all of these vitamins and minerals, including folic acid, which is important in reducing homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage blood vessel walls and by reducing it, this helps prevent heart-attacks and strokes. It is also a very good source of thiamin, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and a good source of iron.
In this heart healthy stuffed acorn squash recipe the dried fruit or dates add a delicious alternative to sweetening. Instead of using the classic filling of brown sugar and maple syrup, which only add too much sugar. Also, the dates or raisins provide more nutritional value than brown sugar.
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2 acorn squashes, whole
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup raisins or dried fruit, chopped (shown are chopped dried dates)
1 cup walnuts
1-2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped or dry basil
½ cup yogurt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a strong knife cut the acorn squashes in half, lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds and strings in the center of each. Score the insides of each acorn squash half with sharp knife several times. Place each half in a baking pan with approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil coated in each half.
Chop raisins or dried fruit then place in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Next chop walnuts and add to bowl. Last, add basil and yogurt; mixing ingredients together. Scope equal amounts into each acorn squash half. Sprinkle with fresh or dried basil flakes. Place in oven and cook for approximately 50 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
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