October 18, 2012

Omega-3 Power! Winter Squash Cake

Besides being sweetly delicious, winter squash is full of vitamin C (about one-third of the daily value in every cup) as well as the antioxidant mineral manganese. Eat the skin, too! Recent research has shown that the cell wall polysaccharides found in winter squash also possess antioxidant properties. In addition, squash is both anti-inflammatory and lends a valuable amount of our anti-inflammatory omega-3s without much of a change in our total fat intake.

To make a simple squash dessert, make puree with buttercup, butternut, delicata or sweet dumpling squash.

Winter Squash Puree

You will need:
1 large winter squash, about 2 pounds 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place squash cut side down on baking sheet.
Pour 1 cup water in bottom of pan, and place in oven to roast 40-45 minutes until flesh of squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
Peel, cut open and scoop out seeds.

Place in a blender or food processor with:
½ teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

Voila! Eat spoonfuls as a snack, mix it into your oatmeal, use it as a pie filling, or bake it into a cake.

Ginger Squash Cake

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a pie dish or round baking pan with vegetable oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine until well mixed:
1 cup almond meal 
2 cups flour - I like either whole wheat or whole spelt; use 1 cup brown rice flour and 1 cup millet flour for a gluten-free version)
pinch salt
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 inch fresh ginger root, minced

Make a well in the center and add:
1 cup squash puree
1/2 cup maple syrup or coconut sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil - I like either local sunflower oil or olive oil)
1 cap-full of apple cider vinegar
1 cup milk - almond, rice, or cow
1 heaping spoonful of nut/seed butter - cashew, almond, or tahini

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean. This is a delicious dessert. Try topping it with whipped, full-fat coconut milk or melted 85% chocolate for a rich delight.

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