A rather decadent way to enjoy squash, this fall favorite is nutritious and has just the right ratio of salty to sweet. The stuffing is rather addictive and can be made with just oats,... just granola, or a mixture of the two — whatever you prefer. This recipe also uses every part of the squash. Squash seeds so often get thrown away, but they are delicious when toasted and are used here as a garnish. Any crunchy leftovers are the perfect healthy snack for the next day.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and reserve in a bowl for later use.
Using a brush, spread the olive oil or melted butter all over the cut sides of the squash, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Place cut side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nearly tender.
While the squash halves bake, make the stuffing: In a large bowl mix together the granola, oats, raisins, and the ½ cup of chopped walnuts. Add ½ cup of hot water and ¼ cup of the maple syrup. Mix well. Set aside, and clean the seeds so that minimal meat or strings are attached.
When the squash halves are soft, take them out of the oven and stuff the insides with the granola mixture. With a brush, slather some of the remaining maple syrup on top. Put them back on the baking sheet along with the reserved squash seeds.
Return to the oven and bake at 425 degrees oven for another 10 minutes, or until the squash halves are completely tender when pierced with a fork or skewer. Serve warm, garnished with walnuts and the toasted acorn squash seeds.
All squash are not uniform in size, so before removing them from the oven, check with a fork to make sure they are tender.
If the stuffing is made with just oats, add a little more hot water to bring it together. Add a tablespoon at a time until the stuffing has the right consistency.