Brighten up any meal with Rosemary Roasted Winter Squash, Beets and Apples! This sweet and savory side dish is the perfect way to get back on track after the holidays.
Happy Cyber Monday, cyber friends! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend that left your hearts and your bellies full.
There was certainly no shortage of delicious food to be had around here (and no shortage of delicious leftovers, either!) If you happen to follow me on Instagram, then you probably know that I’ve been enjoying leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And it’s. been. glorious.
But alas, all good things must come to an end. After a long weekend fueled by stuffing and cheesecake, I’m more than ready for a detox. And chances are, I’m not alone.
But before you go reaching for some $10 juice that tastes like (gr)ass, hear me out. You can achieve those same “detoxifying” effects (actually arguably better) with this little thing I like to call real food. And water. Lots of water.
Sure, swearing off food may provide temporary relief in the bloating department, but any “benefits” that you experience are primarily due to the diuretic effects of the juice cleanse. Meaning that as soon as you start eating real food again, you’re going to be right back where you started. So in other words, all that money that you just spent on your fancy juice cleanse is essentially going to get flushed down the toilet (literally and figuratively). Now I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to spend that money on real food. And clothes. But mostly food.
Oh, and not to mention all of the havoc that you wreak on your digestive system in the process. Now, I’m not going to go into details, but just know that our bodies need fiber to, ehem, keep things moving. And even though most juices are made of fruits and vegetables, the majority of fiber is actually removed during the extraction process, leaving behind mostly sugar. So there’s a pretty good chance your insides aren’t going to be feeling too hot after several days of living off of juice. And even if you’re one of the lucky ones who happens to avoid any GI issues, you’re not completely in the clear. Without fiber in your diet, any sugar consumed is more readily absorbed, which can lead to a number of problems, including high blood sugar.
And one other thing that juice cleanses are essentially devoid of? Protein. When your body is unable to meet its protein needs through the diet, it starts pulling from its internal stores – namely muscle tissue. And I don’t think it should come as any surprise that this is not something that you want to happen.
Last but not least, a juice won’t offer anything that your body isn’t already capable of. The human body is essentially a magnificent detoxifying machine. Any potential “toxins” that enter are efficiently removed with the help of our livers and kidneys. No nasty juice needed.
So while I may still be feeling a little sluggish from all of the Thanksgiving goodies, you won’t find me swearing off food anytime soon. I’m going to go ahead and leave the detoxing to the pros (aka my kidneys and liver) and keep on enjoying delicious food. After all, solid food >>> liquid diets. Who’s with me?
Today’s recipe is the perfect way to get back on track post-Thanksgiving binge. The combination of squash, beets and apples provides a healthy dose of fiber to send that food baby on its merry way (just don’t forget to drink some water).
Not to mention, this dish is just as delicious as it is gorgeous and will take any meal to the next level. While I love them on their own, one of my personal favorite ways to enjoy them is tossed atop a pile of salad greens and drizzled with Maple Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette. (Stay tuned for the full recipe coming at you later this week!) #cliffhanger
- 1 tbsp melted and cooled coconut oil, divided
- 1 medium delicata squash (~14 oz)*
- 2 medium beets, peeled and chopped into 1" cubes (~2 cups)
- 2 apples, chopped into 1" cubes (~2 cups)
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped into 1" slices
- 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse the squash under running water, scrubbing well to remove any dirt. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Slice the seeded halves into 1/2" thick half-moons and transfer to large bowl.
- Add the chopped beets to the bowl with the squash. Toss with approximately half of the coconut oil and dried rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
- While squash and beets are roasting, toss apples and onion with remaining oil and rosemary and arrange in a single layer on another baking sheet.
- After 10 minutes, remove squash and beets from oven, flip, and return. Add apples and onion to oven at this time. Roast all items for an additional 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Remove from oven and serve warm.
- * Feel free to substitute butternut or acorn squash (or even sweet potato). This is the equivalent of approximately 2 cups chopped.
- Makes about 6 cups.