Keep cooked grains on hand to lessen the prep time.
Serves 6 - 8
Use one 9 X 13 or two 8 X 8 baking dishes. Preheat oven to 400°
FOR THE SQUASH MIXTURE:
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and grated (about 7 cups)
3 Tbsp. honey
½ tsp. minced rosemary or sage
3 Tbsp. dried cranberry, or currants
3 Tbsp. Marsala or dry sherry
¼ tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
FOR THE TOPPING:
3 cups cooked whole grains (any type such as spelt, kamut, barley, wheat berries, or brown rice)
1 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. sesame oil or butter, melted
1 Tbsp. honey
¾ cup hazelnuts or filberts, roughly chopped
1. In a large bowl, combine the squash, honey, rosemary, cranberries, Marsala, sea salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a greased pan and spread out evenly.
2. In the same bowl, stir together your grains, sea salt, oil and honey until the grains are well coated. Distribute the grains evenly over the squash mixture.
3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the squash is tender, about 20 – 25 minutes.
4. Remove the foil and sprinkle nuts on top. Continue baking for another 4 – 5 minutes until the nuts are lightly browned.
Whole grains provide amazing nutritional support. They are one of the best sources of dietary fiber, and they are an excellent source of the B-vitamin complex, which is necessary for healthy nerves. In comparison, most processed grains are stripped of their nutritious outer layer, which removes most of their key nutrients such as vitamin E, protein and fiber. Incorporating good-quality grains into your diet helps to balance your body and your life.
Research suggests that the combination of nutrients and other substances in whole grains helps protect against certain chronic diseases. The antioxidants in whole grains may work synergistically with other compounds, including dietary fiber, to reduce overall risk for heart disease. Evidence suggests a strong inverse relationship between whole grain intake and risk for some cancers—most notably gastrointestinal cancers. Whole grain foods appear to influence carbohydrate metabolism, and studies suggest that consuming whole grain foods may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Whole grains can also lower cholesterol levels.
The most familiar grain to begin adding in to your diet is brown rice. So if you only cook and eat white rice, make the switch now, for healthier living, from your inside out! Then venture on to quinoa, spelt, kamut, barley, millet and more! And don’t forget to try steel cut oats for breakfast…topped with real maple syrup, dried or fresh fruit, and nuts for a yummy & satisfying breakfast to energize you right through until lunchtime!
Recipe adapted from Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way, Lorna Sass