Caramel-y Roasted Butternut Squash Surprise

Growing up, I always loved breakfast. Waffles, pancakes, syrup, eggs n bacon; the whole nine yards. During my teen years I would often make breakfasts on the weekends, including the family favorite German Pancakes which aren’t truly German at all, to my understanding. Like many people, I’ve been working on getting more veggies in my diet. Though I’m not paleo, I love so many Paleo recipes that I’ve encountered. Many paleo recipes emphasize vegetables/fruit. (Carrot Cake Chocolate Chunk Breakfast Cookies from Yes please!) So, in an effort to add some diversity to my breakfast I created this, possibly inspired by a paleo recipe I came accross some time ago. This recipe has butternut squash, sweet potato, apple and nuts (I prefer pecans but walnuts or cashews would work too) with a drizzle of a olive/coconut oil and a good dusting of cinnamon all roasted to caramel perfection. Seriously, it could practically be used as a dessert. That’s the surprise. You could slap it into a crust and call it pie!

Here is the delectible concoction. I didn’t measure, but hard to go wrong with these ingredients!

Caramel-y Roasted Butternut Squash Surprise
What you need:
A large bowl
½ whole Butternut squash
1 Sweet potato
1 Large Apple
1 tsp – 1 tbs Cinnamon
¼ cup Nuts (Pecans for the win!)
2 tbs Olive/Coconut oil (Coconut oil will add a touch of sweetness)

Other spices: Can totally add other spices depending on what you are looking for. Ginger, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg are just a few. For a touch more savory approach try some salt n pepper and rosemary.

Makes about 4 servings

Step One: Preheat oven to 500 deg F. Prep your roasting pan (I use a cookie sheet with foil and a spray of oil).
Step Two: Prep the squash. Peel the Squash with a sharp knife: dull knives don’t do well, be careful! I’ve cheated before and roasted it whole in the oven. You can do this, but the texture will come out a bit different and takes some planning (takes roughly 1.5 hours at 350 depending on the size of the squash). Once peeled, cut in half and cull out the seeds. Chop into chunks and place in the bowl.
Step Three: Wash and cut up the sweet potato and apple. Add it to the bowl along with the nuts.
Step Four: Drizzle with either olive oil or melted coconut oil. I love the coconut oil as it adds some sweetness but don’t find it overpowering. Add your cinnamon and other seasonings if using and mix thoroughly so that everything is coated. Spread it over your pan.

Roasted squash and sweet potato 452       I didn’t add enough cinnamon to this batch.
Step Five: Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Things need to be caramelized but be careful not to burn the nuts. I recommend giving it a stir at about 15 minutes and every 5 minutes or so thereafter. (I’ve also just let it roast for a full 25 minutes without stirring. Some nuts got a little dark but nothing burned.)

Roasted squash and sweet potato 454

That’s it. Once it’s done, cool enough to eat. If you would like it a bit sweeter, add a touch of maple syrup. The first time I made this was without the squash and was just sweet potato and apple. It was fabulous! Served it with an egg on top.

Roasted squash and sweet potato 401

This is what I did with some leftovers (sure it’s even better fresh!). Layered it with some ricotta mixed with some lemon peel and fresh lemon juice and a touch of maple syrup. Topped with a very light sprinkle of ground ginger. It was divine. The bright citrus contrasted fabulously while the ginger tied it together. I should have doubled the amount of ricotta mixture as I could eat a bowlful of it on it’s own! 🙂

Roasted squash and sweet potato 483            Roasted squash and sweet potato 482


There you go! Enjoy!

Got any questions? Ask in the Comments!


German Pancakes

In my house growing up, the weekday breakfast usually consisted of cold cereal or oatmeal. On the weekends, I loved to actually make breakfast. Usually pancakes or waffles, often with eggs and sometimes even bacon. Once in a while I would do something a bit different: I once made strawberry shortcakes as a surprise for my parents. But a regular family favorite has always been German Pancakes.

I am not sure where this recipe first originated. It is an old family recipe that has been passed down on my mom’s side. Instead of being cooked on the stove like regular pancakes, the whole batch of batter is baked in the oven. The fun part is that when it’s done it puffs up like a mountain range. This simple breakfast can be ready within 30 minutes, with minimal effort.

German Pancakes Recipe

4-6 Tbs Butter* (for dairy free I’ve used coconut butter)

1 Cup Milk (for dairy free I’ve used Almond Milk)

1 Cup Flour (for gluten free use 1 cup all purpose gluten free mix  –  I generally use about 1 cup almond flour, 1 cup brown rice flour, ¼ cup coconut flour, and ¼ cup tapioca starch for my mix). I have used just rice flour with success but the flavor profile is a tad different.

6 eggs

½ tsp salt

*Use 6 tbs if using a 13×9 pan. For my round cast-iron I find 4 tbs to be sufficient.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Put your butter in your pan (13×9 or cast-iron, mine measures about 10.5 inches). Melt in the preheated oven. While the butter melts, put the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blend till smooth. Don’t overdo it because it can cause the pancake to come out rubbery.

Once the butter is melted, gently pour the batter into the pan. If you just dump it, the butter will be pushed away and the end product will stick. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. To serve, top with syrup. It’s also delicious with a dollop of greek yogurt, fresh berries, and a light drizzle of honey.

This serves about 4-6 people; or 2 very hungry, or even 8 unhungry people. So, um… you be the judge. In my teen years, we often did a double batch, making two 13×9 pans. We are a family of 7 and my brother had an endless pit of a stomach.

Coconut Goodness 152

This is fresh out of the oven. As it cools it shrinks down a bit. I just realized I neglected taking a picture of a slice with syrup… guess I was too  hungry.

What is your favorite breakfast?

Coming soon… berry filled apples.