Cran-Orange Acorn Squash

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I’m avoiding sugar/sweeteners right now, so I’m trying to use just fresh fruit for the occasional sweet need.  When I decided to bake an acorn squash tonight to go with my pork loin and cabbage, I thought I’d include two classic holiday flavors, cranberries and orange, to see how that would come out.  I traditionally used maple syrup or brown sugar in this recipe.  Well, sadly, to be honest, it just wasn’t sweet enough for me with just fruit and no sweetening agent.  But flavor-wise, it was still as good as this always is to me. But my husband said his half, which was sweetened with 3 drops of liquid stevia extract was just right for him.  This is a pretty high-carb dish, so it should not be enjoyed until Atkins Pre-maintenance or Maintenance phases.  It is also suitable for Paleo-Primal dining.  This was lovely with pork!  This is also very good with a holiday turkey or wild game.


1   5″ diameter acorn squash

½  naval orange, peeled and chopped

1/3 c. fresh cranberries, chopped

½ tsp. cinnamon

Sweetener of your choice (I used liquid stevia extract)

4 tsp. unsalted butter or ghee

DIRECTIONS:   Preheat oven to 350º.  Using a large knife, cut the squash in half.  Scoop out and discard seeds. Place a little water (1/4″) in a shallow quiche dish.    Place squash cut side down in the water and microwave on HI for about 8-10 minutes or until it is beginning to get tender inside but is not falling-apart mushy.  Remove from oven and drain off water.  Turn squash cut side up and set aside while you make the filling.  In a small bowl, place the chopped orange, chopped cranberries, cinnamon and if using, the sweetener.  Stir well.  Fill each squash cavity with half the mixture.  Top with 2 tsp. butter/ghee each and bake in preheated 350º oven for about 20 minutes.  I sometimes sprinkle with chopped nuts to dress it up, but didn’t tonight.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains: (not including any nuts used on top)

188 calories

8.4 g  fat

30.7 g  carbs, 5.8 g  fiber, 24.9 g  NET CARBS

2.3 g  protein

8 mg sodium

6 comments on “Cran-Orange Acorn Squash

    • That’s a winter squash I’m not familiar with yet. I just checked on-line and it has 16 net carbs per cup; acorn has 12.4 net carbs per cup. But I’d like to try the butter cup some time just to see what it tastes like. ButterNUT is one of my favs, too. So creamy. Thanks for mentioning the ButterCUP! I always say you learn something everyday and look forward to trying it!


  1. Welcome, Shirley! And thanks for the tip! I used to use maple extract for such things, but doing Paleo now, I can’t have the sugar-free anything or artificial sweeteners anymore either, (except pure stevia). I’m going to see if I can find an alcohol-free maple extract on the Nature’s Flavors website that might meet Paleo guidelines. If not, I’ll use a small amount of grade B maple syrup or molasses and see how that works out. 🙂


  2. I like the sugar free maple syrup for things like this to sweeten. I found one called Howards and it only has 5 carbs per 1/4 cup.

    Thanks for all the great recipes. I really like your site

    Shirley DiMartino

    Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 23:19:36 +0000 To:


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