Mushroom Apple and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash © Courtesy of Mushrooms Canada
When it comes to sustainable and nutritious food choices, Canadian mushrooms truly shine. These remarkable fungi are grown from coast to coast, ensuring they never have to travel far to reach your local grocery store. With their year-round availability, mushrooms offer a valuable, affordable, and reliable food source that not only supports local economies but also nourishes communities.
Mushrooms are a prime example of how a small footprint can lead to a significant impact—did you know that one acre of land can yield a staggering one million pounds of mushrooms? This efficient vertical farming allows mushroom farmers to maximize production while minimizing the strain on natural resources. Pioneers of vertical farming, mushrooms offer an incredible yield in relatively limited spaces, making these small but mighty crops a champion of sustainability.
Another remarkable feature of mushrooms is their ability to be grown indoors—regardless of the season. While most crops are dependent on specific weather conditions, mushrooms can flourish year-round, meaning fresh mushrooms are accessible to consumers from the warmest of summer days to the chilliest of winter ones. Grown in beds of composted agricultural materials, mushrooms thrive on reusing organic waste. Once mushrooms are harvested, the soil in which they grow can be recycled for multiple purposes. This recycling process not only reduces waste but also enriches the soil, allowing it to be used again for future crops. It’s an agricultural win-win!
Proof that making a big impact doesn’t have to come at a big cost, mushrooms are also minimalists! To produce just one pound of mushrooms, a mere 6.8 litres of water and 1.0 kilowatt-hour of electricity are required. To put things into perspective, an average shower consumes approximately 64 litres of water, and the average household uses 29 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day.
In addition to being delicious, mushrooms also pack a healthy punch. Low in calories, sodium, and fat, your favourite fungi are a guilt-free addition to any meal. They are cholesterol-free and serve as an excellent source of selenium and B vitamins, which are essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind.
In case you needed another reason to love mushrooms, try adding them to this stuffed acorn squash—delicious, nutritious, and sure to be a staple in your holiday meals.
Mushroom Apple and Walnut Stuffed Squash
Prep Time: 10 mins. • Cook Time: 45 mins. • Serves: 8
- 4 small-medium sized
acorn squash, seeded, cut in half lengthwise
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 8 oz (227 g) fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped. Note: remove stem from shiitakes before chopping
- 2 celery stalks, thinly diced
- 2 Ontario apples*, peeled and finely diced
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock
- ½ cup (125 mL) walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 small loaf of day-old sourdough or French bread, cut into ¼ inch cubes (approximately 5 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Season the inside with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for about 30 minutes or until soft.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add celery and continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Lower heat and add apples. Continue to cook until apples become tender, about 5 minutes. To the pan add butter, sage, and vegetable stock. Heat just until butter is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place chopped walnuts and diced bread in a large bowl. Pour warm vegetable stock mixture over bread. Using your hands toss the bread until it is well coated and most of stock is absorbed.
- Remove squash from oven and turn it cut side up. Divide the stuffing among each squash half; spoon the stuffing into the cavity of each squash until filled. Return to 350°F/175°C oven and bake until stuffing is golden brown, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Serve hot alongside a
festive ham or weeknight roast chicken.
*Tip: Use Ontario Idared, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, or Empire apples.
Visit mushrooms.ca for more recipes!
Mushrooms are a great way to add a depth of flavour to your cooking, with their earthy and savoury taste, their umami can easily enhance any dish and take it to the next level. Adding mushrooms to your meals can elevate the taste and create a deeper, more satisfying flavour profile thanks to their naturally occurring umami. They’re versatile, easy to cook with, and a great way to add a healthy boost to your meals.