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
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
- Whisk butternut squash, canola oil, water, sugars, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth.
- Gently fold in dry ingredients until batter forms and no flour clumps remain.
- Fill muffin tins 3/4 full with batter, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool in muffin tins for approximately 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Yields: Approximately 15 standard-sized muffins.