Roasted Cumin-Cinnamon Acorn Squash

November 23, 2012

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The scent of earthy cumin mingling with the musky sweetness of cinnamon always takes me back to exotic Morocco. We went there on a trip years ago one December, wanting a bit of a vacation before moving on to visit family in Berlin. It was the warmest spot we could find en route to our end destination.

We stayed by the ocean in the resort town of Agadir. When we arrived at our hotel, there was a small outdoor bazaar setting up. The intense colors and scents from the towers of colorful spices were my first introduction to the love, care and respect the people of Morocco have for spice and spice blends.

Moroccans use squash in their tagines and also make delicious jams from squash. They serve the sweet with little spoons and glasses of water, to be served as a treat with tea whenever visitors come calling.

Although I have not yet returned to Morocco, all I have to do is close my eyes and take a bite of this gorgeous acorn squash. I am right back there amongst the spice bazaars and all of the history, flavors and hospitality of that ancient land!

Roasted Cumin-Cinnamon Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is high in vitamin A (1 cup = 145% daily recommended requirements) and contains vitamin C, folate, manganese, potassium and omega-3’s. It is also a good source of fiber.

In India, cumin has long been used as a digestive aid and contains magnesium and iron.

1 whole acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a bit more for oiling the baking sheet)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon organic raw blue agave nectar

Freshly ground pepper, as desired

Earth Balance spread (or butter), as desired

Extra agave nectar, as desired

How To Make Roasted Cumin-Cinnamon Acorn Squash:

Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Wash and dry the acorn squash. Using a heavy, sharp knife cut width-wise into 1 – 1 ½ inch rounds. Scoop out stringy fibers and seeds with a teaspoon. Place the cleaned acorn squash rings on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, the cumin, cinnamon, salt, cayenne and agave nectar.

Stir to combine and then using a pastry brush, spread atop and along the insides of the acorn squash rings. Top with freshly ground pepper to taste.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until tender and caramelized.

Serve with Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread,extra agave and an extra sprinkle of salt, if desired.

Makes 4 – 6 servings





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