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This delectable side dish may easily be mistaken for dessert! Stuffed with apples, dried cranberries, cinnamon, maple syrup and topped with pecans, this dish is not only delicious but is also high in magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6 – making this a good anti-anxiety and anti-depression food!



Servings: 4

2 acorn squash

2 medium apples

½ c. dried cranberries (cranraisins)

½ c. pecans, chopped

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 tsp. coconut oil (or olive oil)

2 tsp. butter

1 tsp. cinnamon 

Heat oven to 375. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush cut sides with oil. Place with cut sides down on baking pan. Melt butter and pour on pan next to squash. Place pecans in the melted butter and bake alongside the squash for 7-8 minutes or until browned but not burned. Remove pecans from pan and set aside. Continue cooking squash for a total of 30 minutes. While squash is cooking, core and chop apples. Mix together with dried cranberries, cinnamon, and maple syrup. After 30 minutes, remove squash from oven. The flesh of the squash will be caramelized to a deep golden brown. Turn right side up and fill each cavity with apple mixture. Return to oven, right side up, for an additional 30 minutes or until squash and apples are soft. Remove from oven and sprinkle roasted pecans on top.

The secret to good winter squash is to make sure it is completely done. The outside of the squash (skin) should be brown and very soft to the touch. A fork placed in the flesh of the squash should go all the way in very easily. You want the squash to be really soft. If it’s not completely cooked, it will be hard in places and not as flavorful as when it is fully cooked.

ps – the photo makes the squash looked burnt but it wasn’t! It was a deep golden brown around the edges – perfectly caramelized!


  1. Giannis says:

    I know what you mean! I always keep criererbans in my freezer so when I have a little extra OJ, I can make some bread. Many times I just chop and add the still frozen berries to the batter.

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