On the phone with my mom this week, she mentioned what a fan of butternut squash she was. She recently bought a container with pre-cubed chunks that she enjoyed for lunch during the work week. We got off the phone and made plans for dinner Saturday night (tonight) and it dawned on me how I would use the butternut squash I purchased from last week’s farmer’s market visit.
I prepared the squash ahead of time as an after-work therapy session. I halved the butternut squash and spread a light amount of the organic butter from my CSA share on the flesh of each and
sprinkled with cinnamon. I cooked the butternut squash flesh-side down on a baking sheet for about 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees F. Once cooled, I mashed and placed in a Tupperware container and refrigerated for later use.
I adapted Modern Beet’s recipe a bit. I liked the fact that honey was the sole sweetener and that the squash was already built into the recipe. I substituted the banana for the ¼ cup oil suggested. I also substituted cooked steel-cut oats for the rolled outs in the recipe (click here for how to cook steel-cut oats); since the oats were already moist, I cut back the amount I used in trying to balance the final texture and taste.
As I portioned the batter into the muffin pan (brand new, thanks to a gift off the wedding registry), I decided to add some carob chips mid-way through. Chocoholism runs in the family, dominant on the maternal side. Considering I’d already featured my mom in this post, I added 1/4 cup organic carob chips because I know that would just make her happy. (Please see the end of the post for a brief nutrient profile and a word on substitution.)
These came out moist and light, definitely soft on sweetness so they are perfect to play with — add fruit to the batter, spread a bit of jam or serve with yogurt once you have the final product. Enjoy!
Banana-Squash Oat Muffins with Carob Chips
Adapted from Modern Beet recipe
* CSA Share ** Farmer’s Market
Makes 12 muffins
- 1 cup unbleached wheat flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats, cooked
- 1 egg*
- 1 cup milk* (I used 1%)
- 1 small ripe banana
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup mashed butternut squash**
- 1/4 c carob chips, if desired
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon in a medium-large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine egg, milk, banana, honey and oats. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Gently fold in squash.
- Fill lined or well-greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
A note on carob chips:
I discovered carob chips thanks to the wonderful bulk aisle at Whole Foods. Carob chips are derived from carob pods and contain sucrose. This legume is a great source of vitamins A and B as well as many minerals such as calcium, iron and manganese. It is also high in a fiber called pectin. Carob has only one-third the calories of chocolate and is almost fat-free. While maybe not the best substitute for chocolate chips in terms of flavor, a combination of the two in a recipe may make you feel less guilty about having a heavy-hand with chocolate :-).