At the market: Look for squash that is heavy for its size, with a dull appearance and hard rind. They should be acorn-shaped with deep furrows, green to yellow-gold rind and yellow-orange flesh.
· 1 large or 2 medium Acorn Squash
· 1/8 tsp nutmeg
· 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Wash, cut in half, and remove seeds with a spoon. If the squash is large, cut the halves in half, making 4 pieces.
Oven Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash halves face down in a roasting pan. Pierce the squash with a fork 2 or 3 times. Pour ½ cup of water in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle squash with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes. The squash is done if a fork slides easily into it or it can be mashed easily. Let cool.
Microwave Method: Place the squash in a microwave-safe dish. Pierce the squash with a fork 2 or 3 times. Pour ½ cup of water in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle squash with nutmeg and cinnamon. Cover with a lid. Cook on HIGH for 13-15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. The squash is done if a fork slides easily into it or it can be mashed easily. Let cool.
Scoop squash meat away from the skin into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Discard the skin. Add ½ cup of water and begin to puree. You may need to add ¼ to ¾ cup of water to get a smooth texture. At least once during the puree process, stop the appliance and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Spoon the pureed squash into ice cube trays and cover them. Put them in the freezer for 8 to 10 hours or overnight.
5. Pop and Store:
Write "ACORN SQUASH" and the date on a freezer storage bag. Remove the baby food trays from the freezer and quickly run hot water over the back of the tray. Twist the tray to pop the squash cubes out and into the freezer storage bag. Place the storage bag in the freezer.
Makes: About 24 one-ounce servings
About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.