The cocoa powder adds a touch of flavor and the honey, just a bit of sweetness.

Acorn squash and cocoa powder are a surprisingly good combination.

  • 1 medium acorn squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened 100 percent cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus a bit more, if desired
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ancho chili powder or ground chipotle pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.

Slice acorn squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard. Brush the flesh with olive oil and place flesh side down on baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until well blended. It’s OK if it’s a little bumpy. If you want it completely smooth, puree it in a blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Recipe adapted from NPR’s kitchen window