Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday Squash-Date-Bran Muffins

I have a bit of an obsession with gourds. Those close to me know about my...whispers...pumpkin problem. I will find an excuse to put pumpkin in anything. Pumpkin Penne with Spinach, Pumpkin Eggplant Goat Cheese Lasagna, Pumpkin Risotto, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie filling straight out of the can...I almost cried when Dunkin Donuts discontinued the Pumpkin Latte for the year. Yeah, I need an intervention. My strong love of pumpkin extends to other gourds. I've never met a squash I didn't like. This morning I woke up with a craving for pumpkin muffins, but alas, the cupboard was barren. I did, however, have a ton of butternut squash in the fridge that was on sale.

I was reminded of an exchange I had with an Italian chef. I saw him scooping out a butternut squash and asked if there was a butternut squash ravioli or gnocchi special on the menu that night. He replied, "No, it's for the pumpkin ravioli." "There's butternut squash in the pumpkin ravioli?" I asked. "What's the difference between this and pumpkin?" he said, "Zucca is zucca."

Yes! Pumpkin, squash, it's all the same! I boiled and pureed the squash and proceeded to treat it like I would a pumpkin when making muffins. The squash also stood in for egg in this recipe. I don't have anything against eggs at all (what's that old adage? you have eggs, you have a meal), but why not cut down on cholesterol where you can?

The end result was a hearty muffin - manly enough to please any guy prepping for the Super Bowl and therefore not interested in sissy-fied sweet treats, yet just pumpkin-like enough to make zucca-fiends like me happy. Granted, there are no such men at my apartment at the moment and my boyfriend doesn't watch football, but the recipe is still totally appropriate for today.

Squash Date Bran Muffins (makes six muffins)


1/3 pound of butternut squash, peeled and chopped.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/8 cup regular sugar
1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt


Boil water, add squash and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Drain squash and puree.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In bowl, mix pureed squash, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Taste and adjust, a pinch more cinnamon and brown sugar may be needed. It should taste more or less like pumpkin pie filling, just a little less sweet.

To squash mixture, add flour, baking soda, bran, regular sugar, chopped dates, milk and salt. Mix ingredients together, batter should be slightly lumpy when done.

Grease muffin tin or line with paper cups. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Yoooo....i'm gonna need that pumpkin cheesecake recipe.

    I understand about the gourd fixation...makes me feel a TINY bit better about my love of Lean Cuisine butternut squash ravioli.

    Yes, this exists & the stores are forever out of it. Partially thanks to moi!