Kabocha, acorn, butternut and pumpkin ~ oh my!!! So many different winter squashes to try. I love cool and crisp fall days in October. I also love the great variety of squash we now see at the grocers. While they are all slightly different, I find the majority of them are fantastic with fragrant and sweet spices. In this winter squash saute, I used all of my favorites ~ sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, and red chili pepper flakes.
Kabocha squash? What is that?! Well, my friends it is a variety of winter squash that is also known as Japanese pumpkin. It’s shaped like a small green pumpkin and has a slightly sweet flavor and texture similar to pumpkin and butternut squash. It’s wonderful simply roasted with olive oil, sea salt and a pinch of red chili pepper flakes. It also makes a delicious sweet and savory soup when paired with an apple.
To prepare the squash, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and strings (just like you would a regular pumpkin). Then using a vegetable peeler, peel away the outer skins. Cut the squash into 1 inch pieces.
Fruity, nutty and chocolaty. These cookies are deeee-lish! Have you had figs lately? It might be time to revisit this ancient fruit. The Ancient Greeks and Romans revered them. They are sweet, delicious and high in antioxidants and fiber. They can help lower your cholesterol and contain heart healthy and cancer fighting properties too.
You can find dried figs year round, which is what I used for this decadent figgy dark chocolate chunk cookie. Check the bulk section of your grocery store or shelves for packaged dried figs from California. Fresh figs, usually available from June through September also make a great snack on their own.
It’s back to school time and we’re in need of some yummy, healthy after school snacks. I love roasted red pepper hummus. It’s great with veggies, crackers and pita bread. Our favorite pairings with this dip are baby carrots, rice crackers and apples. Cucumber slices are great too. It’s a great way to get some extra veggie vitamins and fiber.
Making your own roasted red pepper hummus is super easy. It’s best if the hummus has some time to “rest” so the flavors really meld. About 30 minutes in the fridge is perfect. I tend to make it a day ahead, so it’s ready to go right after school or can be packed away in a small container for lunches. Making your own hummus allows you to control the amount of garlic, spice and salt you prefer. There are also no preservatives to worry about.
This chocolate zucchini cake is so light, moist and delicious everyone in your family will be begging for more. The reason it is so light and moist is the combination of using a quality gluten-free all-purpose flour mix and zucchini. It may sound a little strange putting zucchini into a cake, but don’t worry. The zucchini sneakily disappears and does it’s job keeping everything moist and delicious.
If you have zucchini’s left over from your summer garden bounty, now is a good time to shred them up. I peel the zucchini first, then grate it. Save two cups at a time in food-saver or freezer bags and pull them out to defrost during the winter when you feel like some delicious chocolate cake.
This recipe is perfect for back-to-school meetings and upcoming Thanksgiving gatherings. The topping of chocolate chips, walnuts and brown sugar adds just the right touch of additional sweetness without the need for a traditional frosting. If nuts are an issue, just leave them out and add in a few more chocolate chips of your choice. Feel free to mix them up. I’ve used milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips with great success. You can also use a mix of butterscotch chips and chocolate for a different twist.