This squash bread has everything you could want in one little loaf. I packed in tons of seeds and nuts, mashed acorn squash and even a bit of shredded beet. As winter squash is still in season (see the full list of what’s in season this month here) I’ve been trying to make up some new uses for it. After baking the squash until it is a soft and smooth puree, it becomes perfect to use for bread. The flavor of the bread is nutty and sweet, similar to pumpkin or zucchini bread but with more texture and earthiness. Its easy to love and even the little hands in your house will be grabbing for a slice!
About the Recipe
I got the idea for this bread after having something similar in a coffee shop in Seattle. Then I read an article about the different types of winter squash and how they naturally lean towards different recipes. The article mentioned that the nuttiness of acorn squash is actually great for baking breads! That was the start of my idea then of course I threw in some nuts and seeds for texture and some more veggies just because I had them on hand. The beets were a last minute addition. The first time I made the bread, I threw in shredded carrots but I didn’t have carrots around so I tried beets. Either one works but the beets lend to a more earthy flavor. The bread is not overly sweet, though sweet enough, with great texture and nutrition. It’s perfect for breakfast with coffee and juice or for a midday snack.
Eating seasonally is great for so many reasons but I want to expand on just one reason today. Have you ever watched the Seinfeld about Mackinaw Peaches? Kramer gets crazy excited about the 2 week season but he looses his sense of taste during that period and completely misses his favorite taste of the year. We hardly even recognize the seasonality of fruits and vegetables anymore. Every produce item is available at our fingertips but then we lose out in the excitement of it all.
Sure, there are healthy benefits to eating fresh and seasonally, and there are environmental benefits, seeing as your food doesn’t travel as far and trucks aren’t driving as far, but what about the simple fact of the joys of seasonality. Looking forward to fresh peaches in late summer or warm wintry foods with winter squash. Also, having meals surrounding these foods only a few times a year becomes something to anticipate. I must say, in not eating seasonally, we have all missed out on enjoying natural food rhythms.
This year, every month, you’ll find a whole new set of seasonal foods and recipes. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know this isn’t anything new but if not, I hope you’ll make this something new in your routine. Many bloggers across the country are dedicated to eating seasonally and we’re sharing our recipes widely. Maybe this year we can all find a few recipes that we make only once or twice a year, when it’s seasonally appropriate. These meals can become tradition, a part of our yearly rhythm, and something to look forward to!
As we all look for just the right recipes for which to use our fresh produce, here are some fabulous seasonal recipes by my favorite bloggers:
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Vinaigrette by Bless this Mess
Quinoa Salad with Grapefruit and Golden Beets by Cafe Johnsonia
Brussels Sprout Thai Pizza by Climbing Grier Mountain
Meyer Lemon and Zahatar Seasoning Salt by Project Domestication
Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms With or Without Soba Noodles by Foodie Crush
Parmesan Parsnip Fries by Well Plated
Acorn Squash Bread with Seeds and Nuts by Vintage Mixer
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, if you have it
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup canola oil or coconut oil
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup cooked acorn squash, mashed
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, or other nuts chopped
- 1/4 cup seeds, a mixture of sunflower seeds, pepitas, and chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon quinoa, uncooked
- 1/4 cup shredded beet or carrot
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and strongly flesh. Pour 1/3 cup of water onto a rimmed baking sheet and add the squash halves, cut side down. Roast for 35 minutes or until the squash is soft and can easily be removed from the skin.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard loaf pan.
Roughly chop the hazelnuts (or whatever nuts you're using) and place the nuts along with sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet. Once the oven is hot, roast the nuts for 8 minutes.
In a medium bowl add all of the dry ingredients, flour to spices. Whisk to combine.
In a stand mixer bowl, combine the sugar, maple syrup, oil, egg and squash.
Slowly add in the dry in gradients to the wet, alternating with the 2 tablespoons of water.
Then, stir in 3/4 of the toasted seeds, nuts, and quinoa. Fold in the shredded beets.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. If you'd like seeds and nuts on top of the bread sprinkle the reserved 1/4 of them on top 30 minutes into the baking time.
acorn squash puree may be substituted with another squash puree or pumpkin puree (canned puree may also be used). seeds and nuts may also be interchanged.