Sweet, nutty acorn squash halves cradle a rich mixture of dried fruits and spices bound together with a juicy sauce, providing a beautiful and festive touch for a holiday table or a Sunday dinner. But they’re so easy to prepare, they can make any night seem special.

Serves 4 / Serving size: 1/2 squash

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 acorn squash (about 1 pound each), halved, seeds and strings discarded
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup orange-flavored dried plums, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons light tub margarine
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Using a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the skin of the squash in several places. Put the squash with the cut side up in the baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the margarine. Spoon into the squash cavities. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender when the flesh is pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.
  5. Using a teaspoon, dot the margarine over the filling in each squash half. Let the margarine melt before serving the squash.

Calories 180, calories from fat 30, total fat 3.5 g, saturated fat 0.5 g, trans fat 0, polyunsaturated fat 1 g, monounsaturated fat 1 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 50 mg, potassium 1030 mg, total carbohydrate 39 g, dietary fiber 5 g, sugars 10 g, protein 3 g, phosphorous 95 mg. Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fruit.

– from the book, “Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook”, 2nd edition. From the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

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