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Traditional squash casserole with Pomegranate Juice 

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Description:
Acorn squash has a green skin speckled with orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh, this squash has a unique flavor that is a combination of sweet, nutty and peppery.
I like this recipe as it uses many interesteing ingredients such as pomegranate juice, roasted peppers, Chinese five-spice powder and coconut milk aswell as wells as lots of nuts and seeds. In my garden my acorn squash are just about ready to harvest. I often store them and use later in the winter. At the store, squash is easily prone to decay, so it is important to carefully inspect it before purchase. Choose ones that are firm, heavy for their size and have dull, not glossy, rinds. The rind should be hard as soft rinds may indicate that the squash is watery and lacking in flavor. Avoid those with any signs of decay, which manifest as areas that are water-soaked or moldy.
While we've become accustomed to thinking about leafy vegetables as an outstanding source of antioxidants, we've been slower to recognize the outstanding antioxidant benefits provided by other vegetables like winter squash. But we need to catch up with the times! Recent research has made it clear just how important winter squash is worldwide to antioxidant intake, especially so in the case of carotenoid antioxidants. From South America to Africa to India and Asia and even in some parts of the United States, no single food provides a greater percentage of certain carotenoids than winter squash.
The unique carotenoid content of the winter squashes is not their only claim to fame in the antioxidant department, however. There is a very good amount of vitamin C in winter squash (about one-third of the Daily Value in every cup) and a very good amount of the antioxidant mineral manganese as well. Recent research has shown that the cell wall polysaccharides found in winter squash also possess antioxidant properties, as do some of their phenolic phytonutrients.
It's the combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in winter squash that have shown this food to have clear potential in the area of cancer prevention and cancer treatment.


Ingredients:
Ingredients (organic ingredients recommended)

1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 large yam, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup pomegranate juice (optional)
1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red and yellow peppers, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 tablespoons white rice flour
1 (14 ounce) can organic coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
3 leaves organic fresh basil


Directions:
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Fill a 9x13-inch baking dish with 1/2-inch of water. Place the acorn squash halves cut-side-down into the dish; place the yam pieces around the squash. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake in the preheated oven until the acorn squash and yam is tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, and pomegranate juice in a saucepan. Stir in the roasted pepper, garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the sauce has reduced to half of its original volume, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the rice flour and coconut milk. Return to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes longer. Keep warm.

When the squash is tender, drain off the water and place the yams in a mixing bowl. Scrape the squash into the bowl, and mash with the yams until smooth. Add the roasted pepper sauce, and continue mashing until well combined. Scrape into a serving dish, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and fresh basil to serve.


Category: Main Meals

Submitted By: Ok In Health member



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