I was honored to be invited to participate in this year’s Healthy Virtual Friendsgiving hosted by Sprout’s Farmer’s Market and running November 9th to 23rd, as the Paleo recipe contributor. My challenge: a seasonal appetizer recipe inspired by a box of Hain Celestial products that I was sent.
I love challenges like this because I end up in that wonderfully creative space where my best recipes come from (I also create amazing recipes when I need to use up random ingredients left in my fridge at the end of the week, lol!). Inspired by the spices in my box, I decided I wanted to put a fun twist on one of the most quintessential Fall foods, winter squash. And hence, this Bacon-Wrapped Spiced Pumpkin was born! It can be made with any winter squash that can be cut into 2″ chunks after being peeled and seeded. (I’ve made it with both pumpkin and butternut squash.) Save time by buying preprepared butternut squash chunks at the store!
To make this recipe Autoimmune Protocol-friendly, simply omit the walnuts.
Prep time:15 minutes
Cook time:40 minutes
Yield:20 appetizer portions
- 1½ lbs pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2″ chunks
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (plus more for serving, optional)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts (omit for AIP)
- 10 oz regular- or thin-cut bacon (10 slices)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place a wire rack (e.g., cooling rack, roasting rack) in a rimmed baking sheet (line your baking sheet with foil to make clean up easier if desired).
- In a mixing bowl, toss pumpkin chunks with spices, olive oil, maple syrup and walnuts. Cut bacon slices in half.
- Wrap each spiced pumpkin chunk in a half slice of bacon, making sure to have a few walnut pieces wrapped inside the bacon too. Place on the wire rack oriented so that the ends of the bacon slice are on the bottom (this stops them from unraveling while cooking). Repeat with every piece of pumpkin.
- Using a spoon, drizzle any remaining spice mixture and walnut pieces from the bottom of your mixing bowl over the top of each bacon-wrapped spiced pumpkin chunk.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Optional: for crispier bacon, broil on high for 2-3 minutes after baking.
- Remove from oven and serve! Serving suggestion: drizzle a few drops of maple syrup over each bacon-wrapped spiced pumpkin chunk!