You Heart What You Eat: Squish Squash Mish Mash |

You Heart What You Eat: Squish Squash Mish Mash

A couple years ago Explore's food contributor, Tera Johnson Swartz got on a squash binge and began to explore recipes. Here is one of her favorite squash recipes.
Courtesy Photo

— It’s that time of year again – Holiday Season. We all have our favorite Thanksgiving dishes, and while where I grew up in the midwest, it was pretty much anything that could hold gravy, now, at my house it’s the mashed potatoes. I should correct that to read: “was the mashed potatoes.”

While, white potatoes are probably the biggest carb carrying, least healthy starch at the market, sometimes we have our weakness to indulge. And there’s nothing wrong with that! However, a couple years ago I got on a squash binge and began to explore what else we could do with them other than roast, salt, or (gag) brown sugar-butter them.

By the way, the humble acorn squash is a surprising provider of 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C as well as vitamin A, niacin (good for digestion, cholesterol, and more) folate (good for brain, nervous system and cardiovascular support), and vitamin B-6. So don’t think of it as the carb-filled, over sugared-starch that it is why it is sometimes overlooked at the store. No, this delicious, colorful and fragrant mashed-potato replacer has become our favorite winter staple – not just served over the holidays and usually, doesn’t get covered in gravy.

Squish Squash Mish Mash

  • 1 acorn squash (halved and seeds/pulp scooped out)

  • Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
  • Chives
2 tbs. butter
  • Milk
Olive oil

Brush a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle of garlic powder, salt and pepper on the halved-sides of the squash (the inside) and place them halved-side down on a parchment papered cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for approximately 40 to 50 minutes (until soft).

Cool slightly and scoop out the soft contents from both sides of the squash into a mixing bowl and place the butter and just enough milk to make your preferred consistency of “mashed potatoes”.

Now, if you’re extra healthy, substitute the milk for almond or soy-milk and replace the butter with your vegan substitute. Salt and pepper to your liking and sprinkle some fresh chives over the top to make your dish look like a contestant on Master Chef and enjoy!

YOU HEART WHAT YOU EAT is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

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