I was shopping at TJs the other day and the cashier commented to me how many people are buying comfort foods. While it could be the change in weather, I know it is not. One of the benefits of living in the PacNW, surrounded by “Not My President” signs in shops, on bikes and in protests, is that many, if not all, are reeling just as hard. In post election discussions, a colleague said something that really resonated with me, “We must have time to grieve before we can accept. Once we accept than we can act.”
Butternut Squash Muffins
- 1 small (or 1/2 of a large) butternut squash
- 1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of avocado or canola oil
- 1/4 cup of applesauce
- 1/2 cup of buttermilk
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup of walnuts (plus extra for the top)
- Roast the butternut squash at 400 degrees until it is a golden brown, roasted and tender. Let it cool and scoop the flesh out of the shell. You should have 1.5-2 cups of squash. Leave the oven on for the muffins to bake, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.
- Mix the dry ingredients together, the whole wheat flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, baking power and salt in a small bowl. Combine well.
- Mix the eggs with the sugar and beat until the sugar-egg mixture is a light yellow, 30 seconds to one minute. Add the oil, applesauce, buttermilk and orange zest, mixing for another minute or so. Add the butternut squash and walnuts and mix to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix.
- Scoop into a muffin pan lined with muffin cups and fill around 3/4 full with batter. Sprinkle with walnuts and gently press the walnuts into the tops. Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center muffin comes out clean.
- Place the muffins on a baking rack to cool. Enjoy!
Feel free to adjust the spices as needed, I wanted this is almost taste like pumpkin pie muffins although not nearly as sweet or unhealthy.
I played around with the amount of sugar and without the 1/4 cup of sugar, the butternut squash flavor remained quite strong. Feel free to omit the sugar as desired although this may affect the browning.
Yes, I know this isn’t typical comfort food. I don’t usually reach for typical comfort foods, my go-to is Japanese food. I wanted baked, cozy, warmth with a distinctive fall flavor – these muffins are it.
By the way, these muffins do turn out a lovely fall orange, all of the Vitamin A in the butternut squash and the hint of orange from the zest.