Butternut Squash Muffins

A while back I made a Paleo carrot cake that appears on countless blogs all over the internet.  Since I had some butternut squash I wondered whether the same sort of recipe would work using other root vegetables (see – I told you I don’t like following recipes).  The carrot cake soleley uses ground almonds, and since I had all but run out I decided to sub some of the quantity with coconut powder.  As far as I can tell this is a cross between dessicated coconut and coconut flour, mostly found in Indian food stores.   Coconut flour is often used in Paleo cooking but since it is usually very expensive (around £6 for 500g) I have avoided it thus far.  When I saw this Coconut Powder in a random Indian food store in London and incredibly reasonably priced in comparison (around £1.99 for 500g) I just had to try it.  I had no idea whether it would work or not, but hey presto it did, and these are really very scrummy.  Almost macaroon like in their coconut texture.

Ingredients (makes 12 mini muffins or 8 larger ones)

  • 2 eggs separated
  • 2.5 tablespoons Raw honey (or Sweet Freedom,  NB you can us less honey if you wish to take away some sugar content…)
  • ½ cup of pureed cooked squash
  • 1 cup of coconut powder
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • tsp vanilla essence
  • tsp powdered ginger

Method

  • Preheat oven to 170C.  Beat the egg yolks and honey together in a bowl.  Add the puréed squash, vanilla, ginger, coconut powder and ground almonds and mix thoroughly.
  • Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff.
  • Fold egg whites into the egg and squash mix until evenly combined.  Try to avoid beating too thoroughly or else you will knock all the air out of the egg white mix.
  • Grease and line muffin cases (I usually use olive oil spray in silicon cases, though the above picture used muffin cases).  Bake for about 18 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.   Adjust the cooking time to suit the muffin size i.e smaller muffins < larger muffins.
  • Leave to cool before turning out.

The muffins freeze in air-tight containers very well, and really do retain their flavour and texture once defrosted.  Excellent if you don’t want to eat the whole batch in one go…

Top tip:  Cook and purée the squash the day before, then keep in the fridge till it’s needed.  Perhaps if you’re already cooking squash for another recipe (I was simultaneously cooking squash to throw in a curry on this occasion).  1/2 cup of puréed squash is roughly half an average sized squash.

Variations

I know that carrot works, but sweet potato maybe?  For a different flavour you could include lemon or lime zest, cinnamon, mixed spice or nutmeg  (not altogether though – too much!!).

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