Winter squash are in season – not only pumpkins, but butternut, Hubbard and acorn squash abound at farmers’ markets, as do sweet potatoes, ready for Thanksgiving tables. All of these beta-carotene rich veggies make fantastic muffins, and there’s no need to open a can. If you find yourself with leftover roasted squash or mashed sweet potato, any or all can be used up in a batch of muffins – or cook up a batch to mash and freeze exclusively for this purpose. Pureed squash and sweet potato freeze beautifully, so you can make some to stash away for muffins all winter long.
Squash and sweet potato can be used interchangeably in this recipe, so don’t worry about using a combination, if that’s what you have. To roast your own, cut winter squash in wedges, peel, cube and toss with oil; spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 30 minutes, until soft. Mash with a fork. To roast sweet potatoes, poke with a fork and roast directly on the oven rack at 350°F (or higher) for 1 hour, or until soft and the skin starts to peel away from the flesh; this can be done while something else is cooking in the oven.
Pumpkin, Squash or Sweet Potato Muffins
Adapted from Canadian Living
1 cup mashed roasted pumpkin, squash or sweet potato, or canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup each raisins and chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.
In large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, squash or sweet potato puree, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined; stir in the raisins and walnuts.
Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Makes 10-12 muffins.