Friday, September 11, 2009

Adventures with Butternut Squash

Check out this awesome breakfast! 1/2 cup pureed butternut squash, 1/2 cup plain Dannon yogurt, 1/3 cup oats that melded together overnight, topped with 1/4 cup Bear Naked granola. Mucho delicioso.
Lemme take a second to proclaim my new found love for butternut squash.
Last night was my first attempt at cooking with this fabulous fruit. I purchased a 4-lb beauty at my local grocery store, and the sticker said it's from Michigan (kinda local, one state over from WI). I love pumpkin, and have always wanted to try cooking butternut - so there you go!
Due to my crappy knife, the squash was a bit tricky to cut up - so to cube and peel the entire thing it took 30-45 minutes.
Isn't the squash beautiful? The inside looks heart-shaped.
I considered saving the seeds to toast in the oven, but ended up discarding them. I'll try this next time!
You will want to cut the squash into little 1-inch cubes, trimming off and discarding the rind.
I added water to the pot, so that it just about covered the squash cubes - then cooked on medium-high for about 20 minutes. Once the squash was fork-tender, I removed from the heat and drained the water.
These babies were super hot, so I let my window AC unit exhaust the heat a little :-)
My goals for the squash were:
1. Make some yummy, vegan Spiced Squash muffins.
2. Try out pureed fresh squash in overnight oats.
I've shown you the overnight oats already - so here's a bit on the muffins!
I was inspired by this recipe on - I tweaked it a bit to include whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, and substituted soy milk for the milk, flax seeds / water for the eggs and Earth Balance for the butter.
Vegan Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins
Makes about 9 muffins
Wet Ingredients:
- "Flax Egg:" 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of warm water - whisk together and set aside
- 2 1/2 cups of pureed, steamed Butternut Squash (use about 1/4 cup of soy milk to ensure a smooth blended texture)
- 1/2 cup of soy milk
- 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance vegan margarine
Dry Ingredients:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup, whole wheat pastry flour (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup white sugar (next time I am going to try using honey as a substitute)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (you could probably use sucanat?)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare muffin pans by spraying with baking spray. I like Pam's butter flavor non-fat baking spray.
2. Prepare the "flax egg" and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients with a large whisk.
4.In a blender, mix the Butternut Squash Puree, soy milk, "flax egg" and Smart Balance. Simply pulse a few times to blend. It helps if the squash puree is still warm so that the Smart Balance melts.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, folding so that they are combined. Do not over mix. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pans, so that the cups are about 2/3 full. Bake about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!
Next time I'd like to try adding the following to the center of the muffins pre-baking, for a delicious surprise:
- 1 tsp chopped apples or 1 small apple slice (per muffin)
- a few blueberries
- small scoop of almond butter
Other Variations:
- maple syrup, honey or agave liquid substituted for sugar
- adding 1 cup of walnuts
The end result is a very dense, flavorful muffin. It's decently moist, despite there being no major added fats or oils. These taste equally great warm from the oven and the next morning, at my office :-) Can't wait to try this recipe again!
There you have it! My first recipe at Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness :-)

1 comment:

Every Gym's Nightmare said...

this sounds good. i always think of butternut as savory but maybe not so much now