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ERIN SULLEY: Oh my Gourd! Squash for Breakfast?

They’re small in portion but extra filling. All you’ll require is a latte on the side. – Paul Pickett photo
They’re small in portion but extra filling. All you’ll require is a latte on the side. – Paul Pickett photo - Contributed

Have you ever given thought to how many squash are out there? There’s acorn squash, butternut squash, golden summer squash, delta squash, winter squash, cocozelle squash, sweet mama winter squash, sweet dumpling winter squash, buttercup squash and banana squash. That’s a few of the regulars you see. I’m sure if you look on the Vesey’s website (my summer gardening website crush) I bet there’s pages of different varieties.

Make sure you hollow out enough squash to fit all your scrumptious toppings.
Make sure you hollow out enough squash to fit all your scrumptious toppings.

I was missing out on something that’s been in front of my eyes year after year as I would lay squash perfectly on the dining room table as decorative setting every autumn, but they never made it to the plate - until now.

Not only is there a wide variety of squash, there’s a wide variety of uses. They’re great in soups, pies, side dishes, breads. Yes, bread. I know, I paused on that one too until I tried herb and cheddar squash bread.

I came across a recipe called “Protein-Packed Breakfast Acorn Squash” last year and it’s been a regular in my house even since. I won’t lie, if it didn’t come with a video attached I may have made a pass. Oh my gourd, I am sure glad I didn’t.

The recipe calls for Greek yogurt but you can use regular yogurt in a pinch.
The recipe calls for Greek yogurt but you can use regular yogurt in a pinch.

When I first read the title, I was like, what? Squash for breakfast? Filled with yogurt? Yes, I was just as skeptical as you are reading this right now, but the video - oh the video. Whoever made the video, well done I say. They broke down every step in a short time-lapse video. Baked acorn squash smothered with a cinnamon oil combination and a spoon full of brown sugar inside. Oh yes! And that wasn’t all. When they pulled it out of the oven, they put a heaping dollop of Greek yogurt in the middle and topped it off with pecans and drizzled honey all over the top. Hello, gourd-geous!

Acorn squash is a mild flavor, somewhat sweet, wonderful for stuffing and roasts perfectly. Be mindful of when you plan to use it though as it takes about 45-40 minutes at 400, when baking in halves.

Let your squash cool for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven.
Let your squash cool for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven.

 

“There can never be a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.” – Ron SwansonI’ve used squash for a variety of dishes, mostly butternut and spaghetti squash, but not breakfast. I’ve certainly never thought of combining it with yogurt. The most common squash recipes I make are spaghetti squash - absolutely delicious. A great one if you’re cutting down on the carb intake or looking to get more veg into your diet. You can also use spaghetti squash for a cheesy chicken and broccoli stuffed squash dish, or how about a spaghetti squash au gratin? I also love a good roasted butternut squash soup and butternut squash fritters are to die for.  Don’t get me started on squash casserole or squash gnocchi.

There’s nothing better than comfort food in the fall and winter months.
There’s nothing better than comfort food in the fall and winter months.

Oh, and I absolutely love a spicy zucchini and shrimp dish. When will I ever learn? I mean seriously! I have to stop doing this on an empty stomach. I have to be more scheduled when writing and time it perfectly after a full meal. Similar to going to the grocery store on an empty stomach – the worst.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I love breakfast acorn squash. In the winter and fall months especially. Probably because it provides a cozy feeling during our chilly windy weather. I find it just as satisfying as a hearty bowl of oatmeal or porridge. It’s warm, sweet, and super tasty. Like a little bit of heaven with every bite.

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” – John Gunther

I’m curious to know if anyone has tried squash peel? I read that they’re edible but the article said they don’t taste great. Clearly they didn’t sell me on that one. There’s was no eye-catching time-lapse video for that.

If my description and pictures have tingled your taste buds – Google or search for “Protein-Packed Breakfast Acorn Squash” on www.ambitiouskitchen.com it’s a great way to kick start the day and pairs perfectly with lazy weekend mornings and lattes.

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email erinmsulley@gmail.com. Twitter @ErinSulley Instagram @erinsulley

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