Cranberry, Apple, Squash Bake

I can hardly contain myself this week. Do you know what happens this week?

My favorite time of year happens this week. The time when all of my favorite things happens in one day. Food and wine are consumed while sitting around a table with my favorite people as we give thanks.

Thanksgiving happens this week.

We are splitting up our time on Thursday to get some QT with both families which leaves me with no cooking to do. Since I have no cooking to do, I have been getting my Thanksgiving cooking fix out of the way these past couple weeks by making this apple piethese beans, experimenting with a new pumpkin pie recipe, and making this cranberry, apple, squash bake over and over and over. It’s so easy, so healthy, and such a crowd pleaser.

Just as life has seasons, what I focus on in the kitchen has seasons. Currently, I have been focusing on making things with no added sugar or the least amount of added sugar possible. I’m not a believer in cutting something totally out of my diet but I am a firm believer that it is important to use the least amount of an ingredient possible to get the maximum flavor…especially when it comes to sugar.

In thinking about famous Thanksgiving sides, sugar is usually a main ingredient in most of them, including cranberry sauce. This bake balances the tartness of the cranberries with natural sweetness of apples while the squash adds an earthiness to the dish. No sugar needed.

Cranberry, Apple, Squash Bake

Serves 10

Note: I usually bake this at 400 degrees. I have baked it at 350 and 375 degrees because of other things I was using the oven for at the same time and just left it in for a little longer. It’s a pretty forgiving dish. 

1 medium butternut squash (approximately 3 lbs), peeled, deseeded, and cut into 2 inch pieces

2 large honey crisp apples, cored and cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups fresh cranberries

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (see note).

2. Combine squash, apples, and cranberries in a 9×13 casserole dish.

3. Toss the squash mixture with cinnamon and salt.

4. Dollop the coconut oil over the top in 5-6 different areas.

5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash and apples are tender.