Despite them being made with nothing but wholesome ingredients and containing no refined sugar whatsoever, these Butternut Squash Apple Spice Muffins taste so delicious, you’ll never believe how healthy they actually are!
‘Tis the season, right? Pumpkin season, that is… everywhere you look is pumpkin this, pumpkin that! To be honest, I think I’m getting a little bit fed up with pumpkin…
Can butternut squash be the new pumpkin please? Is there a petition we could sign, or some kind of a vote that we could take to make it happen?
Personally, I think that butternut squash possesses just as much aptness but is so much more accessible! It’s easier to find, easier to handle, peel, dice and cook!
Coalesced with apples, I think that butternut squash is the ultimate autumnal flavor! And I’m pretty sure that you will agree with me when you get to taste those phenomenal muffins! To me, they are perfect in every possible way. Not only are they made with good wholesome ingredients, they are also low in fat and free of refined sugar. Taste-wise, they are agreeably sweet and perfectly spiced, with a well balanced, dense and slightly chewy texture.
All in all, I think they are the perfect little autumn treat, snack, or on the go breakfast…
If you’re going to make these muffins, the first thing you’ll need to do is prepare some butternut squash puree. Personally, I find that the easiest way to do this is to roast the butternut squash in the oven (follow the instructions in the post, although you might want to hold the black pepper this time… or not!) and then let it cool, scoop out the flesh and puree it up in a small food processor. I find that my compact Ninja Food Prep Food Processor works perfectly well for this!
Since you’re going to want to let that puree chill completely before you use it, it might be a good idea to make it the previous day. You will need 1-1/2 cup of puree to make the recipe; while this may seem like a small amount, don’t let that deceive you… you will be needing all of a small or half a medium butternut squash.
Now, say you needed to save time, or that squash wasn’t currently in season, you could easily substitute canned pumpkin puree and you’d get very similar results. Just be sure to use the real stuff, though, NOT the sugar laden pie filling.
Once you’ve got the puree ready to go, throw it in a large bowl, along with some eggs, unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened apple juice, blackstrap molasses, apple cider vinegar and pure vanilla extract.
Mix all those ingredients together with a whisk until they are well combined and set aside.
Oh, and also too, now would be a good time to preheat your oven to 425°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with parchment or regular paper liners.
Now grab another large bowl and in it, combine some whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices and mix those too with a whisk until they are very well combined, then pour that right over the dry ingredients.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients delicately with a rubber spatula, until they are just incorporated, no more.
Finally, delicately stir in the apple, raisins and walnuts.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
Here’s a tip for you: a size 8 (4oz) spring-loaded ice cream scoop works perfectly well for that!
Bake your muffins in the 425°F oven for 5 minutes, then decrease the oven temp to 375°F and continue baking for a further 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about a minute then carefully lift them from the cups and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely; alternately, you could just tilt the muffins in the cups so air is able to circulate around them.
Now take a look at that!!!
Here’s the thing that I absolutely adore about parchment paper liners: they peel right off, super cleanly, and don’t take ANY of your precious muffins with them! Not even one tiny little crumb!
Now I strongly suggest that you enjoy one of those muffins right away, while they are still warm and fresh out of the oven… maybe even indulge and hit it with a little bit of ghee, why not?
As for the other muffins, the ones you haven’t eaten yet, you should store them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to a week.
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Butternut Squash Apple Spice Muffins
- Preheat your oven to 425°F; line a 12 cup muffin pan with parchment or regular paper liners
- In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and mix well with a whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk until well combined; add wet ingredients to dry and mix delicately with a rubber spatula until just incorporated, no more.
- Delicately stir in apple, raisins and walnuts.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. A size 8 (4oz) spring-loaded ice cream scoop works perfectly well for that!
- Bake in the 425°F oven for 5 minutes, then decrease oven temp to 375°F and continue baking for a further 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about a minute then carefully lift them from the cups and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely; alternately, you could just tilt the muffins in the cups so air is allowed to circulate around them.
- Store your muffins in the refrigerator for up to a week.
*To make the butternut squash puree, roast the butternut squash in the oven (see the post for instructions, but omit black pepper) or and then scoop the flesh out and puree it in a mini food processor. Let cool completely before using in this recipe (you might want to make it the previous day).
You could also substitute canned pumpkin puree if you didn’t have time to make the butternut squash puree. Just make sure to use 100% pure pumpkin puree and not pie filling.