Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The secret lives of vegetables-Butternut Squash and Applesauce Muffins

I wanted to share a recipe today that is one of my favorites. It is one of our family favorites, just in time for the fall season. These muffins come from a book, given to me by a friend, that teach us as parents to hide vegetables in our children's food. Now, as far as philosophies go, this has its pros and cons. I think its great to incorporate vegetables into everyday eating, like shredding zucchini into meatballs, pasta sauce, or hamburger, to increase our intake of vegetables. Breading foods in egg mixed with veggie puree is also a phenomenal idea, if you have the veggies on hand, etc. There are lots of ways I had honestly never thought of to incorporate fruits and vegetables. The author also encourages us as parents to offer vegetables at dinner, even if there is a hidden veggie in the meal. Its a great idea, and it really gets you thinking on how to get some of the more difficult things into your kids mouths.
That said, these muffins are ridiculously good. I make them for people, let them devour them, and then tell them there is butternut squash in them. There is also applesauce and oatmeal in the muffins, but I think butternut squash is the big surprise. Oh, they also have an oatmeal streusel topping that makes them to die for.
If you like roasted butternut squash soup, these muffins will be your best friend, because you can roast the squash for your soup and then just set aside the squash you aren't going to use for the soup and whip up a batch of these babies. They are incredibly tender, no doubt from the applesauce and butternut squash, and really, the crunchy, brown sugar and oatmeal topping is great. They also have a bit of extra fiber with the oatmeal also in the batter. This also gives the muffins a bit of chewy texture.

Roasted Butternut Squash Muffins
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pureed butternut squash
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups. Make the topping: Stir together the oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the butter.
Make the batter: combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. In a second bowl, mix the applesauce with the milk, vegetable puree, sugar, oil, and egg with a wooden spoon. Add the flour mixture slowly, stirring until just moistened. Do not over mix-the batter is supposed to be lumpy.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake until the topping is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffins, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

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