Those gorgeous winter squashes are just so hard to resist, sitting there all colorful and shapely in bins and boxes at farmers markets and coops. There's a growing collection of squash at our house that we all know should be used, but no one wants to cut up. Cursing to myself is not uncommon whenever I try to open a winter squash, and knives have been known to break in the process. I think the cook's friendliest squash is delicata - it's not only sweet and delicious, it opens without a fight. Delicata doesn't store well, though, and the time had come to use ours. The squashes were all split, cleaned and baked until tender, and several were stuffed with the filling for Harvest-Stuffed Acorn Squash from "The Vegan Table" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. (I got the cookbook for my birthday.) This dish was just as tasty the other recipes we've tried from "Vegan Table," but really, this post isn't about stuffed squash. It's about finding a delicious use for leftover squash ...
It's about MUFFINS — soft, spicy, sweet, yummy, warm, fragrant muffins. I hate to brag about my own muffin recipe — it's so unattractive — but these were really irresistible. I've had three, so I should know.
I wanted to base the muffins on a gingerbread recipe I used to make, but when I realized my favorite gingerbread recipe hadn't made it to Seattle and was back in the Midwest, and I wouldn't be able to use it as a guide, I started looking for a replacement. But I couldn't find just what I was looking for. I wanted to make muffins with leftover squash, and spice them with fresh ginger. I also wanted to try the coconut oil I just bought (to make tuilles ), but wanted to keep the fat to 1/4 cup. I also wanted to keep the amount of sugar fairly low. I worked out the proportion of liquid to dry and here's the result:
Gingery spice muffins
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (stir well before measuring, spoon into measuring cup and level with knife)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (non-aluminum)
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon fresh, finely grated ginger (I used a microplane), don't skimp
1/2 cup mashed leftover squash or canned pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350˚F • lightly oil 12-cup muffin pan
In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed and 6 tablespoons water. Set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, whisk in (or use a wooden spoon) the orange juice concentrate and additional 1/4 cup water.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder.
In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon, beat together the coconut oil, sugar and agave until combined and kind of fluffy. (takes about a minute) Mix in the grated ginger. Add the flax mixture and thoroughly combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Gently stir and fold until well-combined. Do not over-mix.
Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until done. Turn out onto a rack to cool. Enjoy warm or cool.