So you’ve decided to go gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, paleo, primal, or do the Whole 30 challenge, and for the love of Oprah you can’t take another plate of scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Sadly, you are missing the comfort of your hot steaming bowl of oatmeal. Now, what’s a determined person like you who wants to stick with your new lifestyle choice, to do?
Well, look no further, we have created an easy gluten-free oatmeal alternative that tastes fabulous, will comfort and keep you alert all morning long – acorn squash faux meal or acorn squash breakfast pudding. Don’t make that face… just give it a chance.
Acorn squash is a winter squash and an edible gourd. You’re probably most familiar with beautiful winter squashes as part of your autumnal table centerpiece.
In fact, most of the world’s winter squashes – Hubbard, delicata, turban, butternut, spaghetti, and Calabaza are Native American vegetables and edible gourds. You can even roast the seeds and eat them like pumpkin seeds.
Winter squashes are a primary component in South American, West Indian, Japanese, and Indian cuisines, but tend to be overlooked in most American cooking.
Winter squash like acorn squash needs to be cooked with care, if boiled it usually just turns to mush.
Acorn squash when roasted is easily mashed and deliciously creamy. It has a mild sweet flavor that can stand up on its own any day against sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or pumpkins.
The Oatmeal Alternative – Why You Should Eat Acorn Squash More Often
One ½ cup serving of cooked cubed acorn squash provides about 20% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for most adults.
Nutrition tip: To maximize the vitamin C bio-availability of acorn squash cut it only right before cooking.
Packed with potassium and magnesium, this tasty winter squash can help strengthen bones and teeth and keep your metabolism humming and energy levels powered up throughout the day. You’ll also decrease your risk of stroke, osteoporosis, depression, and diabetes with duo of magnesium and potassium.
Beta-carotene found in acorn squash promotes healthy eyesight and may prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration.
It’s always best to steam or roast your acorn squash as vital nutrients are leeched out into water when it’s boiled – besides the flavor roasted acorn squash is so much tastier!
Are You Still on the Fence About Ditching Your Morning Oatmeal?
I’m sure you’re asking right now, “But don’t I need the fiber? Isn’t it low in sugar? How will I get those heart healthy whole grains?” If you aren’t sure that waving goodbye to your daily oatmeal is going to be healthy for you. Let us put your mind at ease…
As far as fiber – cooked acorn squash provides more fiber per one cup (245g) with 6 grams compared to 4 grams of fiber in one cup (234g) cooked oatmeal.
The glycemic index of oatmeal is 55, the average for instant oatmeal is a whopping 83 making it dangerous if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic. Eating high-starch foods are biologically equivalent to eating pure white table sugar.
If you have a sensitivity to wheat gluten, you may also have a sensitivity to grains like corn, oats, barley, or rye. Grains like oats, corn, and rice have a protein similar to wheat gluten called avenin.
This protein wreaks havoc on your small intestine by breaking down the microvilli that aid in absorption and secretion functions. Without functional microvilli to absorb nutrients and keep food moving through your small intestine, food particles leak out, and eventually make their way into your bloodstream. This creates “leaky gut syndrome,” that can spark digestive issues, autoimmune problems and even allergies.
Your body views these invaders as dangerous and creates an immunity army to destroy them. This inflammatory response is behind the allergy potential of grains.
It also sets in motion a dangerous host of chronic diseases that include an increased risk of:
- Cancers: pancreatic, renal, colon, and stomach
- Cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Food allergies
- Autoimmune diseases
If you are looking to easily shed fat, then try removing all grains (this includes: wheat, whole grains, sprouted grains, pseudo grains (quinoa, amaranth), barley, rye, rice, millet, spelt, rice, corn, and oats) from your diet for at least one month and then see the difference in your waistline. Judge how you feel at the end of the 30 days as well, as that is always one of the best indicators of health. This oatmeal alternative might just inspire you to bid a fond farewell to oatmeal for good!
“Remember, the ONLY carbohydrates you really need are vegetable carbs. All sugar/fructose and all grains, including the “healthful” ones, will tend to raise your insulin levels, which are a detriment to your health,” -Dr. Joe Mercola
Discover what Dr. Mercola has to say about these five foods that may cause problems similar to wheat…
Acorn Squash Breakfast Pudding Recipe
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk*
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 cup golden raisins or sultanas (optional)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp. ghee, coconut oil, or grass fed butter
- Optional for topping: Pecans, almonds, or walnuts and shredded unsweetened coconut
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F / 190 C
- Cut acorn squash in horizontal thirds (bottom, middle and top)
- Using a tablespoon scoop out seeds (save them to roast along with the flesh or toss)
- Brush flesh sides with melted butter or ghee
- Place on foil or parchment lined cookie sheet flesh side down. The middle third will look like a ring, butter one side, set it on baking sheet, and then brush some buttery goodness on the top side.
- Bake for 45 minutes
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes
- Peel off skins, the skins should easily peel away from flesh
- Mash in mixing bowl with a large wooden spoon
- Add in raisins, the warmth of the squash will plump up the raisins
- Add warmed coconut milk, salt, and spices
- Mix well until creamy, scoop out and top with nuts and coconut.
*Note on coconut milk: When purchasing coconut milk, make sure it’s in a BPA-free lined can or purchase boxed coconut milk if available. Always buy pure 100% coconut milk with no additives other than guar gum a natural thickener that does not create any digestive issues. Coconut milk will separate in the can and the coconut cream will rise to the top. Be sure to shake well before opening.