Butternut Squash Muffins

WAIT! Don’t run away! They are good, I promise! At least they were good to me, and my Dad, and most importantly, my four year old! He is the pickiest eater and has food allergies on top of it, so needless to say, getting enough proper nutrition into him has been a challenge.

He ate his minus the crumb topping, but he ate them! I was thrilled!  He ate a vegetable…for breakfast!

Butternut Squash Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  • Topping (optional):
  • 1/4 cup oats (regular or quick cooking)
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 T. coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the squash, milk, brown sugar, & applesauce.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and combine.
  5. Fold in cinnamon chips.
  6. Spoon mixture into a 12 cup muffin pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (or liners), about 3/4ths full.
  7. If using crumb topping, mix all the topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top of muffins.
  8. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until done.
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Notes – If you do not have wheat bran, you can use all flour. You could probably sub oat bran or some other flour if desired, but I haven’t tried it.   You could also use pumpkin or sweet potato in the place of butternut squash.  I also had enough batter left over to make a couple baked ‘donuts’ in my donut pan, since my kids like almost anything shaped like a donut! (and how many times can I use ‘donut’ in a sentence?!)
Yes, I am all for sneaking vegetables into my children’s food, and my own for that matter!

For more from KimM, join me over at Makin’ it Mo’Betta; and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Ingredient Spotlight: Tea (and Spiced Chai Tea Muffin recipe)

I love tea.  My very, very favorite is Bigelow Constant Comment.  But lately, I’ve also been loving the Spiced Chai and Vanilla Chai from Bigelow.

My afternoon snack almost always includes a cup of tea.  My tea basket is always on the counter, ready for me to choose the flavor of the day.

But did you know you can also bake with tea?

I chose the Spiced Chai to make these muffins.  They remind me a bit of coffee cake (tea cake?), but with more flavor.  I topped them with cinnamon streusel.  And of course, they’re perfect with a cup of tea.

The recipe and a photo of the ingredients is near the bottom of the post.  But I wanted to give you a chance to share your recipes that are perfect for pairing with tea.

Link up any recipe you like that you love enjoying with your favorite cup of tea.  If you’ve got a recipe that uses tea as an ingredient, we’d love to see that too!  And if you have a post about Bigelow Tea, be sure to link that up as well.  We’ll be pinning your posts on the Bigelow Tea Board and Recipes to Enjoy with Tea board.  You can follow Bigelow Tea on  TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.



Here’s what you’ll need to make Spiced Chai Tea Muffins:

 

Spiced Chai Tea Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

Spiced Chai Tea Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • For the topping
  • 5 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 5 Tbs. flour

Instructions

  1. Stir flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  2. In a mixer bowl, mix butter, sugar and eggs.
  3. Add brewed tea, milk and vanilla to wet ingredients and mix till well blended.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir gently till well combined.
  5. Divide evenly between 12 muffin tins.
  6. Using a fork, combine all ingredients for topping until you have crumbs.
  7. Sprinkle on top of muffins.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes.

Notes

To make the strong, brewed tea use 1 or 2 tea bags and 1/4 cup boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes.

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Disclosure:  I have been compensated for my time and provided with samples from Bigelow Tea.  All tea loving opinions are my own.

Peanut Butter Pancakes (with Blackberry Jam)

These might be my favorite of all the pancake recipes I’ve tried.  You know I love PB&J.  I love anything peanut butter, actually.  These pancakes are perfectly peanut buttery.

And they’re fantastic with blackberry jam.  I didn’t take a photo of a jam slathered pancake, but you can be sure that I ate several that way.  I drizzled syrup over the sticky stack too.  Delish!

Back in September, we had an Ingredient Spotlight: Peanut Butter.  Picture Perfect Cooking shared this recipe for Peanut Butter Pancakes.  The only change I made was to double the recipe.

Before we get to the ingredients, I have to wish my oldest daughter Happy Birthday!  How can it be possible that she is 21 years old today?

Back to the pancakes.  Here’s what you’ll need to make them:   [Read more...]

6 Ways to Simplify Breakfast


Yesterday for Ingredient Spotlight we shared egg recipes.  Many of those were for breakfast foods and I mentioned that we usually eat meals like that for dinner, rather than first meal of the day.

We keep things simple for breakfast. It’s rare that I fix one breakfast item for all of us to eat. In our house, the usual order of the day is that everyone fixes their own. When the kids were younger, I helped them get their food ready, but learning to fix their own breakfast was a good step toward independence.

My goal is that no real cooking goes on during breakfast. We’ve got places to go and things to do, so I don’t want us spending time fixing breakfast.

Here are 6 ways we keep breakfast simple:

Make it the same every day

We are boring breakfast eaters, eating the same thing nearly every day. We each have our favorite and stick to it. This makes fixing breakfast a breeze. By making the same thing each day, it’s easy to time the coffee with the toaster, while tag-teaming juice pouring.

Toast it

Most of us eat toast, bagel or English muffins for breakfast. This is easy for the kids to fix. It also works well for eating breakfast in shifts. We’ve got a 4 slot toaster, that keeps the waiting to a minimum.

Freeze it

If you like muffins or waffles for breakfast, try making a big batch and freezing them. We’ve also done this with homemade bread. It’s much cheaper, healthier and better tasting than the store-bought versions.

Microwave it

A few of us like oatmeal for breakfast and most days that means quick oats in the microwave. Sometimes, someone will have hot Grape Nuts cereal, which we also microwave.

Slow cook it

During the winter, we crave a hot breakfast. I often make a batch of slow cooked oatmeal one day, with enough to microwave for leftovers.  Try Peaches & Cream, Pumpkin Spice or Apple Oatmeal – all in the slow cooker.

Add protein

There are times that we need a protein boost at breakfast. A scrambled egg is quick to fix (use a non-stick skillet to make clean up quick too). Peanut butter on toast or a glass of milk add a boost of protein without adding time to breakfast prep.

What do you eat for breakfast?

5 Minute Breakfast Sandwich

This is a guest post from Dawn Farias.  In my house we are boring toast eaters for breakfast, but I’d serve this for a quick dinner or lunch any day!  And if you do fix breakfast, this speedy and filling sandwich will make you happy.

If you are looking for a speedy but hearty breakfast now that school is almost back in session, then look no further. Five minutes plus a few ingredients and you’ll be good to go.
Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more...]

New England Blueberry Coffee Cake

How many U.S. states have you been too?  I have not been to very many, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go.  You know those culprits – time and money – that keep us from getting to do what we’d like to do.

So I had an idea that this summer I would travel the country from my own kitchen and invite you to come along.

This week, we’re in the New England states of Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.   I would love to visit this area of the world, because I hear it is beautiful!  If you’re from New England, please leave a comment and let me know.  And tell us what your favorite regional foods are – links welcome!

I chose to make this recipe for New England Blueberry Coffee Cake.  I found the recipe on AllRecipes.  The only change I made was the baking time.  The time the recipe states was no where near long enough.  I also forgot to add the flour to the butter and brown sugar in the topping.  It still turned out, but the flour would have made it more like a crumb topping.

We loved this cake.  It’s full of blueberries, topped with brown sugar and butter and studded with walnuts.  Oh my! [Read more...]

Slow Cooked Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

Waking up to hot oatmeal is a joy.  And this Peaches and Cream Oatmeal is absolutely scrumptious!  It only takes a few minutes to prep in the evening.  I use my small slow cooker with a cheapo hack to make it programmable.

This recipe makes 4-6 servings.  The leftovers heat up well in the microwave.  It’s thick after being refrigerated, but just add a little milk to thin them down.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more...]

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in the Slow Cooker

I was so excited to find Quaker Steel Cut Oats on the grocery shelf the other day.  They were over a dollar less expensive than the brand my store usually carries, making them pretty affordable.  I like to use steel cut oats in the slow cooker, because they hold up better.

I wanted to make something more interesting than a normal bowl of oats, so I checked out the Quaker site.  Lots of recipes over there, but none for steel cut oats.  I couldn’t believe it!

Since I didn’t find any recipes, I created my own.  Actually, the idea comes from Good Life Eats.  Katie created Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal using old fashioned oats.  I didn’t follow her recipe, but the idea came from her.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

Nutella Muffins

The outside looks like a plain vanilla muffin.  But inside there’s a creamy pocket of Nutella hiding.

Can it get any better?

I don’t think so.

Loy says dessert-like muffins should be called “Muffcakes”.  I agree completely.

Here’s how you make this magic – and please do go straight to your kitchen to make these.  You will love yourself for it!  [Read more...]

Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins with Cocoa Coconut Streusel

The other day, I posted a list of 28 Muffins You’ll Want to Try and Terri left this comment:

Hi,
I was looking at your muffin recipes. They look yummy! I’m also looking for a coconut muffin maybe with mini choc chips added. Have you ever heard of something like that? I thought maybe replacing the liquid with coconut milk then add either maybe a streusel with toasted coconut and a drizzle of chocolate. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions? I have tried a couple of your recipes and passed on your site to some friends.
Thanks,
Terri

Oh, what a good idea!  I went into the kitchen and got creative right away.  These are the result.  The muffin is infused with coconut flavor and studded with mini chocolate chips.  The streusel topping has cocoa and coconut.  Oh yeah!

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more...]

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