Updated on 2022-09-24
I began eating squash and rice again in 2019 in an effort to eat healthy, but cheaply. I was purchasing frozen cubed butternut squash, but it was tough even after heating in the microwave, making it difficult to mash.
My wife makes a kabocha squash soup, which brought back memories of my first assignment to Japan when I was a member of the U.S. Air Force. I attended a local Japanese church and after service, I would go to a local restaurant or grocery store, purchase something to eat for lunch, and then go back to the church to eat. Sometimes I would buy cooked rice with some kind of black seed sprinkled on top and what was probably steamed/boiled/baked kabocha squash, which I enjoyed.
So, I thought I’d search the Internet and see if I could find an acorn squash recipe that could be prepared in a crockpot. I found a wonderful recipe that tastes very good and the consistency after cooking makes it really easy to mix with rice. I can make a meal out of half of an acorn squash and 1 cup of rice for less than $2. If you don’t have a crockpot, you can cook the squash in an oven.
The following recipe is my adaptation of the recipe I found on the Internet. The recipe makes two servings.
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 Tbsp organic raw cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter/ghee
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2-4 pinches salt (optional)
- 1 cup cooked rice per serving
01) Use at least a 4-quart crockpot.
02) Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon.
I encountered two issues the first few times I tried cooking acorn squash. The first issue was removing the stem. I’ve learned that if you strike the stem just right with a hammer, it will come right off. The second issue was cutting the acorn squash. Raw acorn squash is thick and tough. I stand while cutting the acorn squash to get good leverage, using a chef’s knife with both hands to cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise.
03) Put 1 Tbsp butter or ghee into each acorn squash half.
04) Put 1 Tbsp organic raw cane sugar into each acorn squash half over the butter or ghee.
05) Sprinkle 1 tsp of cinnamon into each acorn squash half over the sugar.
06) Add a pinch or two of salt to each acorn squash half (optional).
07) Place the acorn squash halves into the crockpot.
08) Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 3 hours.
09) Allow the acorn squash to cool for about 1 hour after cooking.
10) When the acorn squash is cooked correctly, you can scoop the flesh out of the skin with a spoon.
The butter/ghee, sugar, and cinnamon combination results in a syrup.
I began using ghee for cooking a few years ago because it has a much longer shelf life than regular butter and doesn’t require refrigeration. I use ghee for this recipe and the recipe turns out just fine.
I usually cook my acorn squash ahead of time, transfer it to 2-cup Pyrex glassware containers (1 acorn squash half per container) and then I place the containers in the freezer.
I also cook rice ahead of time and freeze that in 1-cup Pyrex glassware containers, storing them in the freezer. When I plan to eat acorn squash and rice for dinner, I take out a dish of acorn squash and a dish of rice and place them in the refrigerator 2 days before.
I prefer to use white rice for this recipe, but you can also use brown rice if desired. If you use brown rice, make sure to parboil the brown rice prior to cooking to remove quite a bit of the arsenic.
I heat up the rice for 30 seconds in the microwave, which helps the rice come out of the Pyrex 1-cup glassware bowl much easier. I scoop out the acorn squash into a regular bowl and dump the rice over the squash, smoothing out the rice so that I can cover the bowl with 2-3 sheets of paper towels.
I then microwave the contents for 1 minute, stir to mix, and then heat for another minute.
If you don’t have a crockpot, according to a conversion chart that I have you can try cooking the squash in an oven at 350 degrees for 15 – 30 minutes. Better yet, just go buy a crockpot. They’re not that expensive and they allow you to cook some things that require oven baking, helping you to keep your home cooler during the warmer months.
I’ve tried cooking acorn squash in the oven and I think doing so dries out the acorn squash too much. I first tried cooking acorn squash in the oven uncovered and the second time I tried cooking it in a covered dish. Both times the acorn squash turned out drier than when I cook it in a crockpot.
Also check out the conversion chart near the bottom of this post for converting oven baking recipes for crockpot usage.
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