With the holidays right around the corner, many of us are looking for stress free recipes that can be prepared ahead of time or fixed and forgotten. This month Hy-Vee Chef Stacie Stengle designed a class focusing on unique side dishes that will make make you the star of the holiday…I mean your menu will shine. This recipe is stress less by utilizing your crockpot. Cook it on high for 2.5 hours or low for 4-5 hours and enjoy.
One thing I love about fall is the plethora of apples at my fingertips. I bet many of you are making your own applesauce and apple pies right now. I have never made homemade applesauce and I’ve only baked one apple pie 10 years ago, so I am always excited to find new things to do with apples. At lunch today I had a baked apple wrapped in phyllo dough and drizzled with caramel and my husband had a caramel apple bread pudding. Imagine my excitement to see Chef Staci’s Crockpot Butternut Squash and Apples tonight. It is a fun and inventive way to put a new spin on regular old applesauce that can give dessert a run for it’s money. In fact is was better than both desserts from lunch!
Last time I snuck a butternut squash in on my family it was in Moroccan Tagine (sorry the picture isn’t great). If you are a sneaky mom, like I am, then your kids would never know they are eating squash. Maybe that’s just my kids? Chef Staci likes her’s served chunky, but you can totally pull out your immersion blender and go to town. I would squish mine with a spoon a few times and no one would ever know (insert evil laugh). Pork chops and applesauce anyone?
How will you know you have the right sized squash? When picking a squash for this recipe Chef Staci recommends picking one about this size.
During the cooking demo Chef Staci mentioned some of the different things you can do to personalize this dish when you serve it to your family or take it to potluck at the office or church this holiday season. Add raisins, craisins or other dried fruits to festify the dish. You could substitute or add pears in or different types of apples that have a bit of a bite to them to keep the recipe poppin. I think a nice sprinkle of candied pecans would make an appearance at my table. The version below is Vegan, but you can use honey to sweeten this dish if you are cutting out sugar.
- 2½ pounds Butternut Squash (peeled and seeded)
- 2½ cups Granny Smith Apples (cored)
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 T Flour
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Ground Ginger
- ⅛ tsp Ground Cloves
- Cut squash and apples into 1 inch pieces.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix sugar, flour and spices.
- Add squash and apples to the bowl and toss.
- Place in a greased 4-5 quart crockpot, cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2.5 hours.
Disclaimer: I reward myself with a night out once a month doing what I love and Chef Staci is kind enough to share her recipes and let me take pictures of her cook so I don’t dirty my camera recreating her recipes for you later at home. Her only request is no face..so that is why her head is always cropped out.