Exercising Memory: Acorn Squash Bread

People who suffer from mental illnesses tend to struggle with their memory. While there isn’t a magic fix to this problem, exercising your memory could help it improve. It won’t happen overnight, but almost all of the best things take time. By now you are probably wondering what making acorn squash bread has to do with improving memory. Well, this is not the easiest bread to make. It is worth the time investment, but there are multiple steps to go through. Remembering where you were in the steps and keeping the process straight is a good exercise for your memory. Now for a little diversion …

Feel free to skip to the bread …

Soon I’ll write about bread, but sometimes it feels like the world is falling apart around me. All I can do is withdraw from it and hope it stops. Wednesday was like that. I’ve been having severe headaches lately, and have been throwing up frequently. When we left for church I already had a bit of a headache, but we still went.

Most noteworthy, our church is small – Wednesday nights just might be the smallest services. That in addition to being in the middle of the pew with people on both sides, and I was trapped. I couldn’t leave without being obvious – but my headache was getting worse and meanwhile, I felt like I was about to barf. Due to the situation, I left; mentally. I wandered into the Border (the name of my reality that other people do not experience) because I could not handle the pain.

After church:

When we came back from church, my husband asked why I seemed so apathetic. I wasn’t, not really – but I wasn’t in charge either. Becca, one of my alters, was in control. She’s the one who can cope with difficult things happening.

A while later I had a breakdown, and sobbed to my husband what had happened. To shorten the story, we’re going shopping for some migraine medicine today…

On to bread:

So. Did you try that recipe for acorn pancakes? If not, now is the perfect time! If you have any leftover acorn squash puree, you can use it in this bread 😉Banana bread is crazy popular - and I can see why, it's so good - and so is pumpkin bread. Isn't it time for a change? Acorn squash bread is moist and mild tasting. You'll love it, and it will be a good change from the usual.

 

For the acorn puree:

  • 1 med sized acorn squash

First of all, cut the squash in half from stem to bottom, and scoop out the inner goodness *

Place cut side up in a baking dish with about an inch of water in the bottom. Cover with foil, and roast until easily pierced with a fork in a 375 oven. Roasting two took me about 1 1/2 hrs. If you’re only roasting one squash, I’d start with 40 min and add on from there. The squash should be very soft and easily mashed. When cool, scoop out the squash, and dispose of the outer peel.

A few more ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp butter (or a non-dairy milk if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp nutmeg

Mash the squash before adding the ingredients .. Our squash was so soft after baking that I didn’t actually have to mash it, I just stirred all of the ingredients together. Voila! Now you have acorn squash puree!

Acorn Squash Bread. Delicious!

Ingredients:

Note: This is basically pumpkin bread with acorn squash instead of pumpkin, so if you have a pumpkin bread recipe you’d rather use, you can swap recipes easily. Just make the puree as above. 

  • 3 1/3 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 2/3 c sugar
  • 2/3 c butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c acorn squash puree 
  • 2/3 c water

To make the Acorn Squash Bread:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9x5x3 in loaf pans.

In a med. bowl, mix all dry ingredients (except sugar) – flour through baking powder; set aside.

With a mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, puree, and water until blended. At low speed, beat in flour mixture. Spoon into loaf pans.

Bake 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 min. remove from pans and enjoy!

*Note*

(I like to wrap my extra loaf in foil to store until the first loaf is gone. If the first loaf will take more than a few days to eat, I would slice the second loaf and freeze it in individual baggies or individually wrapped. You can defrost it in the microwave or toaster.)

Makes 2 loaves

*You can roast the seeds just as you would pumpkin seeds – spread them out on a cookie sheet, spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings. Roast at 350-375 (hotter works better for us) until golden brown (about 10-15 min give or take .. I didn’t really time ours)

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