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Li Zi Winter Squash

Crystal Huff TeaChef Level 1

A dish that can be savory or sweet, depending on how much honey you use. Any winter squash can be used; test recipes were done with hubbard and butternut. Prep time: 15-20 min. Cook time: 2-3 hours.

3 h 20 m 2


  • 1 winter squash of any type hubbard or butternut work well
  • 1 c. blanched almonds
  • 1 c. chopped apple
  • 2 c. water heated to boiling
  • 1/2-oz. of Li Zi Nutcracker tea leaves
  • 1/4 c. honey (or vary to taste)
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cinnamon


Heat the water to just below boiling temperature, and steep the tea for 3-4 min. Remove the tea leaves, add honey, and set tea aside.

Cut the winter squash into half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and pulp in the middle. Salt the inner surface sparingly, enough that it "sweats" after a couple of minutes. Mix the almonds, apple, and a dash of cinnamon together, then use the mixture to fill one or both sides of the squash. Pour the tea into the hollow over the nut and apple mixture. Place the squash half (or both halves if a small squash) into a glass baking dish and fill the bottom of the glass with half an inch of water, then cover with foil. Cook at 350°F for 2 hours, then check with a fork test. If fork slides easily into and out of the squash meat (inside, not the rind), it is ready to eat. If not, return to the oven for further cooking. When serving, if trying for a sweet (instead of savory) dish, drizzle additional honey on top.

If, when prepping the squash, there is extra apple/nut mixture, this can be cooked in a separate pan for far less time, probably about 30 min.

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