All Winter long, we keep baked apples and winter squash roasting away in the wood stove. They get distributed into nearly every meal and snack, along with copious amounts of spices and butter for a special cold season delight that warms both belly and soul. We don’t eat flour based pastas and so find spaghetti and gila squashes to be a great base for tomatoey or creamy sauces as well as thick stews. They also make phenomenal desserts and soups when creamed.
This recipe is one of my all-time favorite winter snacks and it’s so simple! The combo of smooth, sweet squash and savory, creamy nut butter is rich and nourishing. It also totally fulfills my craving for something comforting without being too carby or sweet. I sometimes make this as a quick lunch or evening snack but it’s really appropriate for any meal. Most people prefer it warm but it’s also very yummy at room temperature as well.
- 1 Cup Winter Squash – I like a half and half combo of baked spaghetti squash (or Gila squash, a sweeter variety of the spaghetti) and acorn squash because of the great texture it imparts but you could use any slightly sweet winter squash
- 2 TBs Nut Butter – my favorite is Sunflower Seed butter at the moment (especially the Once Again brand with the little raccoon on front, I can’t seem to manage to make my homemade taste quite that good for some reason) but hazelnut or cashew or almond all taste great.
- 1 Tsp butter (optional)
- 2 TBs cream or nut/coconut milk of your choice (optional)
- cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla and black pepper to taste (optional)
- tiny sprinkle of maple syrup or maple sugar (optional)
Bake the squash until soft and sweet (don’t settle for hard, cardboard like strands of spaghetti squash, cook it til it’s actually done), scoop out seeds and then scoop squash flesh into your bowl. Melt butter on still warm flesh and stir in, add milk and spices and stir well. Add nut butter and stir slightly, enough to distribute evenly but not enough to dissolve into oblivion. Sprinkle maple and additional spices on top to taste. Dig in! Lovely with a cup of strong chai on the side while sitting in front of a toasty stove or roaring fire.