Breaking my toe has really put a damper on my baking recently. Today, the withdrawals became too much to bear, and against my better judgement, I hobbled to the kitchen, preheated the oven, and scoured the kitchen for something out of which to make muffins.
As it turned out, I didn’t need to look far. Finding half of a leftover roasted acorn squash from dinner last week, I was immediately inspired to create a pumpkin-pie-spiced squash muffin recipe. With the mashed squash and a little unsweetened applesauce, there was no need to add any additional oil or butter, so like my zucchini bread recipe, the only fat these muffins contain is from the eggs. I made them 100% whole wheat, but they’d come out beautifully with white flour too, if that’s what you prefer.
- 1 cup cooked, mashed acorn or butternut squash
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ginger
Preheat the oven to 300°F and grease or spray a 12-cup muffin tin. In a small bowl, combine mashed squash, applesauce, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk or sift together all dry ingredients. (If you find measuring out individual spices a pain, make your own pumpkin pie spice ahead of time and use that in lieu of the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.) Add wet ingredients to dry and stir gently, just until combined. Divide equally among the 12 muffin cups, and bake 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out dry.
These super-healthy muffins are light, fluffy, and comforting — perfect for the holidays, either as a breakfast item or snack alongside a hot cup of tea. While I used acorn squash, you could easily substitute butternut squash, or even use canned pumpkin for convenience, if you don’t have leftovers handy and can’t be bothered to actually cook a squash. Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy both the baking and the eating.