Chex Mix-Inspired Delicata Rings
Raise your hand high if the holidays and homemade Chex Mix are inextricably intertwined in your archives of food memories. (Yep, my hand is up.) The smell of butter, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce, along with toasting cereal was one of many edible holiday traditions at our house. I remember one year my eldest brother made so many batches for his college buddies that he had to store it in a garbage bag.
These days, I do occasionally make a batch of gluten-free, dairy-free Chex Mix, but it's a bit more processed and less health-oriented than the recipes I typically like to share on here, or eat regularly myself. Regardless, throughout the holiday season, I get hit with these cravings and scent memories of Chex Mix that are freight-train sized. The last time it hit, it set my own recipe developing wheels a-turning.
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Turning My Love of Chex Mix into Something Thyroid-healthy
How could I bring that taste and aroma from the past into my current life as a Thyroid Thriver? I had a spark of inspiration: What if I could use the "sauce" that goes on Chex Mix, and put it on something else...? Like most of my recipe development, it started with what I had on hand: Delicata Squash.
I combined the two, and sent them off for a magic carpet ride in a very hot oven, to caramelize the natural sugars in the squash and give these rings a nice crisp crust. The result was a bullseye.
While this is obviously more of a starchy side than a crunchy snack mix, these really do taste reminiscent of Chex Mix, even if some of the seasonings, like chili powder, sound a little off-key.
If you're a fan of the stuff, like me, I hope this brings a bring a hit of that classic taste to your dinner table. Whether it's a Tuesday night or your thyroid-friendly Thanksgiving feast, these will fit right in, and disappear quickly, especially when they're still warm and crispy from the oven.
If you're not a fan of Chex Mix, this is a just-plain-good preparation for an incredibly nutrient-dense winter vegetable that benefits from a little sleight of culinary hand, like caramelization, and bold seasonings that play off the natural sweetness of the squash.
- While delicata has relatively thin edible skin, I like to use a horizontal peeler to remove about half the skin in strips. No need to peel completely, but you still get some of the fiber the skin offers, without any long, tough strips of skin. That can be kind of a turn-off for those who are lukewarm on eating squash in the first place. ; )
- After you semi-peel the squash, cut them through the middle, and hollow out the insides with a small dinner spoon before slicing into 1/4-inch rounds.
A Note on Worcestershire Sauce:
Worcestershire is one of those ingredients that some Paleo proponents approve of, while others don't. Be sure to carefully read the label when it comes to Worcestershire sauce to make sure it meets your current dietary requirements. The common brand Lea & Perrins (this is what I use) does not contain gluten. It does however contain molasses (sugar) and "natural flavors" which may be a no-go for some.
Annie's Naturals Worcestershire contains soy sauce and therefore does contain wheat gluten, so that's out.
If bottled Worcestershire is problematic for you, you can make your own clean Worcestershire using this recipe.
- 1 cup of delicata squash contains over 200% DV for Vitamin A, which may reduce the risk of hypothyroidism.
- Though it is naturally sweet and filling, the glycemic load for winter squash is very low, with a score of 5 out of 250, making it a good choice for weight loss.
Chex Mix Inspired Delicata Rings
- 2 medium delicata squash
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed ghee, melted (or sub. extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce*
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Wash the squash and partially peel the skin using a vegetable peeler. Cut in half through the waist of the squash and use a small dinner spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Slice the squash into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
- In a large mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients, and whisk to blend. Add squash rings and toss to coat. Brushing the rings doesn't work as well or coat as evenly, so it's worth it to dirty a mixing bowl in this case.
- Arrange squash rings in a single layer on the lined sheet pan. It's okay if you have a few extra pieces and have to stack them.
- Place on center rack of oven and roast 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the rings and roast 15 minutes more or until well-browned in spots. Enjoy warm and crispy!
*Be sure to carefully read the label when it comes to Worcestershire sauce to make sure it meets your current dietary requirements. The common brand Lea & Perrins does not contain gluten. It does however contain "natural flavors" which may be a no-go for some. Annie's Naturals Worcestershire contains soy sauce and therefore DOES contain wheat gluten. If bottled Worcestershire is problematic for you, you can make your own clean Worcestershire using this recipe.
Sat. Fat (grams)4.05