butternut squash muffins

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From breakfast to lunch and mid-afternoon snack to dinner, I try to make balanced, nutrient-rich food choices. I typically have dessert daily; it is my day’s indulgence. However, my day’s indulgence is not always a slice of German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Icing, a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, or chocolate chip cookies. I try to keep my day’s indulgence reasonable and preferably wholesome; most importantly, I try to be conscious of what I am truly craving and make what I call conscious indulgences. In order to not have dessert become a habit, but a reward and a little celebration, I need to listen to my body. And, more often than not, at the day’s end, chocolate-y ice cream or cookies is not what I crave, but something doughy and bread like…muffins!

Butternut Squash Muffins recipe slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction

What I love about having a muffin or slice of quick bread for dessert is that is satisfies my craving for something sweet, but I also receive nutritional benefits, like whole grains, fiber, healthy fats, and sometimes fruit or vegetables, because I always strive to bake with wholesome on my mind. Butternut squash is very similar to pumpkin; like pumpkin, the butternut squash provides moisture, works magnificently with whole wheat pastry flour, and pairs deliciously with warm, deep cinnamon. When I make these muffins again (and trust me, I most certainly will, as between my dad and myself, we have polished off 7 of the 15 muffins…in less than 24 hours!), I will use more butternut squash. The flavor of these muffins is spectacular, but I would like the butternut squash to be more prominent, as it is very subtle; I would not guess the muffins contained butternut squash!

  • 1 cup butternut squash purée (To make your own using a whole butternut squash, follow these instructions. I did not make my own purée because I had a can of butternut squash in the pantry. To mimic the butternut squash purée from the linked recipe, I mixed 3 Tablespoons of melted (salted) butter, 2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon into one cup of canned butternut squash.)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse grain salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk butternut squash, canola oil, water, sugars, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth.
  3. Gently fold in dry ingredients until batter forms and no flour clumps remain.
  4. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full with batter, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Allow the muffins to cool in muffin tins for approximately 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Yields: Approximately 15 standard-sized muffins.
Enjoy!
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