Diet & Plans
Diet & Plans
Acorn Squash Diet Recipe, Low in Calories & Oh-So-Tasty
Written by Diet Bites
How to Prepare Acorn & Winter Squash.
This diet recipe is easy to prepare, low in dietary fat and caloric values.
Winter squash is so lovely and spurs thoughts of cooler weather and beautiful autumn colors. However, winter squash can look intimidating to tackle - more so than an innocent artichoke.
To begin with, winter squash are large - not anywhere as petite as yellow straight-neck or zucchini, Pan Patty or Hubbard summer squash. But these big boys are actually extremely easy to prepare and can be used in a vast assortment of recipes that add moistness and texture while adding minimal caloric content.
The most concerning aspect of prepare winter squash is cutting into the tough skin to reach the tender flesh of the specimen.
If one is not careful, they can get some nasty cuts - or even lose a finger or two or three, particularly if they angle the knife at the top of the squash and push downward as they are cutting. This angle is precarious and because of the intense pressure applied while cutting into the squash, allow a situation for the hand to slip and slide over the blade of the knife. I can't stress the importance of exercising caution when cutting into a winter squash as it's prepared for cooking.
Tip to Make Cutting Easier
With this said, I have a preparation tip that will make cutting into the winter squash much easier, and safer.
Keep in mind that the protective peel or outer layer of most varieties of winter squash is at least two times tougher than a cantaloupe and about three times tougher than a watermelon.
Begin preparation by washing the pretty squash then place it into the microwave for about a minute on high, taking care to make a small slit or piercing in the squash to prevent it from exploding before placing into the microwave. If the squash gets too hot, it will explode so be sure to give it a steam vent via piercing - and be sure to check it every minute that you leave it in the microwave to ensure that it's not getting too hot. If the squash is too hot to touch, it's cooked too long for cutting purposes.
Remove and carefully cut in half. That short time in the microwave should make it easier to slice into. Pay heed to the angle used while cutting into the squash so that your hand can't slip towards the knife.
Next, seed the squash halves and remove any visible strings. You may find need of a spoon to do such. Again, wash the squash until clean.
The Cooking Phase, Length of Time to Cook Most Specimens
Place into a large microwave safe bowl and add about one inch of water. You'll need to place the squash with the raw flesh face down in the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Cook for about 5 minutes, or until squash reaches desired tenderness.
Test by sticking a fork into the squash but take care when removing the plastic wrap because the steam is extremely hot. If it requires more cooking time, then return to the microwave.
The variety of the squash as well as the toughness, the size of the squash and the speed of your microwave are all influencing factors related to cooking time. I've had some winter squash which cooked in about five minutes with others requiring almost 20 minutes.
Serving Tips for Acorn Squash
Serve warm with the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. You can add blue or pink packets of sweetener or low calorie maple syrup for added sweetness.
A terrific-tasting recipe is 1 acorn squash fully cooked and drained free of all water; add 2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar, a dash of ground cinnamon and light margarine. The zero calorie butter sprays also work well but keep in mind that they are prepared with oil. While a spray contains less than 1 calorie, a spoon will be equivalent in caloric values to a spoon of margarine or oil. I also like to add chopped walnuts to this recipe. It's very delicious. This recipe will serve two, is filling - healthy, low in calories and fat - as well as very satisfying to the taste buds.
Cooked winter squash can also save calories and fat in diet recipes. Simply substitute the oil with mashed squash when applicable.
How many calories are in winter squash? An entire pound of acorn squash has about 250 calories. What a Diet Deal, eh?