Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nikki's Belated Apple Squash Bake

I love squash and finding reasons to sneak it into any recipe I make is a guilty pleasure of mine (any way I can possibley trick the hubby into eating uber healthy food is exciting to me!). While squash on its own is tasty, a light, slightly sweet flavour, it readily absorbs other flavours from sweet to spicey.

This weeks surreptitiously healthy recipe is a spin on my grandma's baked apple recipe. Aside from tasting great, this stuff smells orgasmic... must be the cinnamon in it- did you know that the Queen of Sheba used cinnamon to lure King Soloman? Powerful stuff :)

Ok, first things first, I must include a disclaimer: you will be working with a sharp object, there will be cutting & peeling... The Four Chicks will take no responsibility for missing and/or maimed appendages. Any of you (and you know who you are!) who should not be trusted with a sharp object, please obtain assistance from a loved one for the cutting portions of this weeks recipe!!

Step One: Assemble your Ingrediants:
1) one small or 1/2 of a large butternut squash
2) 3 apples (you want equal parts squash & apple slices)
3) 2 tbs flour
4) 2-3 tsp cinnamon (I use 4 but I REALLY love cinnamon!)
5) 1/4 cup agave nectar (you can use honey or maple syrup, just make sure you don't use an artificially flavored Mrs Butterworth's-style syrup, use the real thing!)
6) 1/4 cup brown sugar
7) 3 tbs lemon juice
8) 1/4 cup apple cider (you can use apple, grape or cranberry juice instead, just stick with the 100% juice varieties)
9) 3 tbs cold butter

Step Two: Slice & Dice!

Cut the squash in half (please see disclaimer above) and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into large chunks and then slice off the skin (I tried using a veggie peeler but it really doesn't work well, using a knife is the easiest way but for the butterfingers out there, its also slightly dangerous... please dont lose a finger!). Next slice the big chunks into thin slices (you'll want them to be no more than 1/2 inch thick). Slice 3 tart apples (I used macintosh apples, granny smith would be good too) and slice them to the same size & thickness as your squash. I left the skins on mine, if you're not a fan of apple skins you can peel it off.

Step Three: Assemble!

Spray a thin layer of Pam in the bottom of your baking dish and spread the apple & squash in the dish, mixing it up evenly. Sprinkle about 2 tbs flour over the apples & squash. Over the top of that sprinkle 2-3 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup agave nectar & 1/4 cup brown sugar, next sprinkle 3 tbs of lemon juice then 1/4 cup apple cider. Next slice 3 tbs cold butter into thin slices, and cut each one of those in half and place them in the squash & apple (slide them down into the crevaces... wait that sounds dirty...).

Step Four: Bake!

Cover the dish with foil and bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes (until the squash is soft). Pull the dish out and let it cool for 5-10 minutes, as it cools the sauce will thicken a bit, now enjoy!


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