& Everything Nice
By Eleanor Baker, MS, RDN, LDN
Recipe creation and video collaboration with Alyssa Fernandes
Ah yes! After months of sizzling heat in Florida, today marks the first crisp morning of fall. HORRAY!! Although the temperature has only dipped all of 5 degrees, from 90º F to 85º F, it is still cause for celebration here in the Sunshine State.
In honor of fall, we break out our favorite squashes, cinnamon spice, and (if we own a pair) cozy boots to wear on the 3 day of cool weather that we have a year.
The squirrels might not be the the biggest fans of this kind of acorn, but I guarantee that this recipe will be a hit for you and your human guests! Acorn squash is an excellent fall superfood. In fact, one cup of cubed has 26% of your Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C and thiamin, 14 % DV of potassium, 11% DV of vitamin B6 and magnesium, and 10% DV of vitamin A.
Many of us are familiar with the functions of vitamin C and B6 but what is thiamin and is it important for your health? Thiamin (thiamine) or vitamin B1, is a water soluble B vitamin. Water soluble vitamins must be regularly replaced through the diet. Although we are able to store thiamin in the liver, it is only in very small amounts.
Thiamin has a critical role in energy metabolism which influences growth, development and the function of your cells. The main metabolically active form of Thiamin is thiamin diphosphate (TDP). The bacteria in the large intestine synthesize from your diet TDP and free thiamin. TDP is an essential part of glucose (a simple form sugar or carbohydrate), amino acid (building blocks of protein), and lipid (fat) metabolism.
Thiamin is found in some foods and is also found in fortified products and supplements. It is best to focus on getting nutrients from food sources FIRST then, if absolutely necessary, supplement a diet that is deficient in that nutrient. A supplement should be what it’s name defines it as, a support a diet lacking in an area, it should not be your healthy diet.
Thiamin is found in whole grains, meat and fish. Fortified sources include breads, cereals, and infant formulas.
The Richest Sources of Thiamin Include:
- Pork chops: 3 oz | 27% DV
- Trout: 3 oz | 27% DV
- Black beans: 1/2 cup | 27% DV
- Acorn squash: 1 cup | 26% DV
Celebrate fall and incorporate more thiamin into your diet with the Cinnamon Squash and Sprouts recipe!
For my faithful readers, here is the step-by-step breakdown with important tips not covered in the video!
1. Start by gathering your ingredients: acorn squash, Brussel sprouts, cinnamon, olive oil, maple syrup, pecans, and dried cranberries.
2. Preheat your oven to 400º F and line one to two baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then slice into 1 in pieces.
When I did the recipe I did 1/4 slices of the acorn squash but I highly recommend doing 1 inch cubes as they will hold their shape and mix better at the end!
3. Place the sliced or chopped acorn squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with maple syrup & cinnamon. Toss until the squash is well coated. The squash should be in one even layer at the end with no pieces overlapping.
4. Slice the ends off of the Brussel sprouts and remove any yellowing leaves. Half the Brussel sprouts and place in a medium sized bowl and toss with olive oil then place in an even layer on the baking sheet.
TIME SAVING TIP:
–> Bake both Brussel sprouts and acorn squash at the same time on the center rack in your preheated oven!
5. The Brussels will need to roast for 20-25 minutes until they become golden brown with a touch of charring.
The acorn squash needs 15-20 minutes depending on how you cut it.
6. In a large bowl gently toss together the Brussels and acorn squash. Top with pecans and dried cranberries.
Elevate Your Tastebuds by enjoying this dish served warm!
Need help learning how to prepare your perfect holiday feast? Try a cooking lesson with Elle! Her fun, entertaining, and delicious lesson will teach you exactly what you need to know to execute the perfect impressive recipe for your family and friends!
Cinnamon Squash and Sprouts
A festive fall recipe that will surely be a hit at your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving! Roasted savory Brussel sprouts and sweet cinnamon spiced acorn squash with a touch of crunchy pecans.
- 3 cups brussels sprouts ends trimmed, halved
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt to taste
- 4 cups acorn squash 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tbsp maple syrup to taste
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup pecans
- ¼ cup cranberries
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Trim ends of brussels sprouts and slice in halves. In a medium bowl, combine brussels sprouts, olive oil, and salt (to taste). Toss to mix.
Spread brussels sprouts onto a lined baking sheet ad roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Stir brussels sprouts halfway through cook time.
While Brussels sprouts are roasting, wash acorn squash, cut in half, and remove seeds. Slice acorn squash (skin on) into ½ inch cubes. Spread acorn squash onto a separate lined baking sheet.
Drizzle maple syrup over acorn squash. Sprinkle cinnamon over acorn squash and mix.
Remove Brussels sprouts from the even when finished and bake acorn squash at 400 F for 20-25 minutes. Turn acorn squash halfway through cook time.
In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted acorn squash, pecans, and cranberries. Mix to combine.
- During our first test of this recipe, we sliced acorn squash into ¼ inch slices instead of ½ inch cubes which resulted in the dish not mixing easily together.
- Resolution: Cut the acorn squash into 1 inch cubes and it will mix better at the end.
- TIME SAVER: Bake the Brussels sprouts and acorn squash on the same sheet pan, or bake on separate sheet pans at the same time. These methods may alter cook time so continue to check vegetables throughout the cooking process. Regardless they should be spread out evenly on the sheet pan in an even layer without over lapping.