The Natural Way

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I fixed an acorn squash for dinner the other night. The recipe was simple. Wash, slice, clean, bake in orange juice at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes with slices of oranges arranged over the top along with a tent of foil. I added a pinch of sea salt, a touch of pepper and a dusting of ground ginger after taking it out of the oven. Heaven was achieved on Earth!

This time of the year we are getting a large selection of fall veggies. Acorn, butternut, Hubbard and spaghetti squash are plentiful and cheap. Storing them in a cool, yet dry, area at home will keep them fresh for a long time. Preparing them for the table is easy and the finished product is not only tasty but also chock full of vitamins and minerals.

Acorn and butternut are just a little higher in nutrition than some other varieties, but all are a treasure trove. If you don't add lots of butter or brown sugar these guys are amazingly low in calories.

I'm a strong advocate of choosing foods that match the season. Remember the problem last winter with spring onions? Some folks in a wintry northern state got sick after eating some that were shipped in from another country. An all natural fertilizer (you know what I mean!) wasn't fully washed off the produce before cooking and serving. The bigger picture is not just about washing produce but that green onions, also known as scallions or "spring" onions, aren't part of the foods in our north country during the fall or winter.

When we try to change the natural patterns, the smallest things can cause big problems.

As with any fruit or veggie, be sure to wash it first and for soft veggies, eat raw or lightly steamed. Hard veggies like the acorn squash need to be steamed or baked till tender. Staying in season, local to your area is a good thing to do. Local foods are fresher and reflect what we have to deal with here in our little part of heaven.

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