This post has been sponsored by iHerb. As always all thoughts are my own.
There is just something so wonderful about the fall harvest. The local farmers markets are filled with a plethora of fall fruits and vegetables this time of year. I love to shop at my local farmers market year round. If I had to chose my favorite season to shop at the market, it definitely would be fall. When you purchase produce in season, you will get more nutrition from the vegetables and fruits.
These Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tamales are inspired by the fall harvest. Creating recipes using winter squash is one of my favorite things to do during the fall. The roasted butternut squash with a hint of Simply Organic Cumin is the star in these fall harvest tamales.
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I love the combination of black beans and butternut squash together. Perfect for fall inspired dinner. Tamales are a little time consuming to make, but definitely worth the effort. The tamal filling has two components: roasted butternut squash and the black bean mixture. For the black beans, I like making a batch of cooked black beans the day before making the tamales. I like used Eden Foods dried black beans. Both of these can be made ahead of time, including the tomato chile sauce.
The black beans are sautéed in Spectrum Naturals Organic Peanut Oil with onion and garlic. A simple but delicious filling.
Once the fillings have been made, it is time to make the masa. I like using Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina. To create a really light and fluffy dough, I love using Spectrum Naturals Organic All Vegetable Shortening. The tamal dough takes some practice getting the right consistency. Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder allows for the tamales to rise. I like adding Frontier organic garlic powder to the dough because it adds a touch more flavor to the basic tamal dough. Some days, I will have to add a touch more masa harina and other days, more broth. For the broth, I really love using the Better Than Bouillon in the no chicken base. This really adds so much flavor to the masa. When making tamales, it is always important to infuse as much flavor as possible.
After the dough is done, it’s time to assemble to tamales. There are four main steps in the assembling process.
- Lay one corn husk flat and spread 1/4-1/3 cup of the filling, leaving about a 1 inch space empty from the top and the sides.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the butternut squash filling. Then add 1 tablespoon of the black beans down the center.
- Fold the left side over and then right side
- Fold the bottom end up to enclose the tamal
- Tie the tamal with kitchen twine or a piece of corn husks
Once the tamales have been assembled in the corn husks, they steam for about an hour, or until the masa pulls away from the corn husks.
You can also freeze any leftover tamales. They reheat beautifully! Great for meal prepping.
- 3-6 Dried Chipotle Chiles
- 1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
- ½ Medium Yellow Onion, diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ Tsp Cumin
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 1½ Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 Medium Butternut Squash
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced small
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- ¼ Cup Red Chile Sauce
- 2 Cups Cooked Black Beans
- Salt and Pepper
- ½ Cup Vegetable Shortening
- ½ Cup Vegan Butter, softened
- 3½ Cups Masa Harina
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1-2 Tsp Salt
- 3 Cups Warm Vegetable Broth, preferably a no-chicken vegan base
- Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles. Slice them open in half. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the chiles on the skillet and toast for 1 minute, turning often.
- Remove the chiles and place in a heat-resistant bowl. Cover the chiles with boiling hot water. Let soak for 1-15 minutes.
- Drain the chiles and add them to a blender. I like to start with 3 chiles and add more if I want a spicier sauce.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is softened.
- Add in the oregano and cumin; stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the tomatoes and vegetable broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour into the blender with the chiles.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour the blended sauce back into the saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F. On a baking sheet place lined with parchment paper the butternut squash. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Turn cut side face down on the baking sheet.
- Roast until fork tender, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool.
- Once cooled, scoop the squash into a mixing bowl. Add the cumin, salt and pepper.
- Mash with a fork or potato mashed until somewhat smooth. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion s softened.
- Add in the reserved ¼ cup of the chile sauce; stir. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add in the black beans, stir, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Once done, set aside and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the vegetable shortening and softened vegan butter. Use a hand mixer to cream them together until light and fluffy.
- Add in the masa harina and mix until incorporated, about 3 minutes. It should look like course sand.
- Add the baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix until incorporated.Pour in a third of the vegetable broth, mix. Continue pouring in the vegetable broth until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- The dough should be light, fluffy, and easily spreadable. If the dough is too wet, add in a tablespoon of masa harina at a time. If the dough is too dry, add in a tablespoon of broth.
- Pull 24 pencil-thin strips off one or two the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you
- Spread ¼ cup of the dough down the center of the corn husk, making sure to leave at least an inch of space from the edge.
- Press the dough into the husk until its 4 to 5 inches wide.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of the butternut squash filling in the center of the dough.
- Add a tablespoon of the black bean filling on top of the squash filling.
- Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together.
- This will cause the masa to surround the filling. Roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center and then fold the other long side on top.)
- Fold down the empty, tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
- Fill the bottom with water, making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
- Place the tamal in the steamer vertically, leaning against the side of the pot, with the open end on top.
- Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks.
- Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales.
- When they separate easily from the corn husks, it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
- Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up
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