Butternut Squash Muffins

I went to go visit my friends who just had a baby yesterday. As I always do when I visit friends with a newborn, I bring something to eat. Even if friends with newborns say they need nothing, don’t take their word for it. Having 3 kids myself, I know how nice it is to not have to think about food when all I want to do is cuddle with my baby, or how nice it is to get a little unexpected treat from a loving friend. So for them, I created these butternut squash muffins. I originally intended to make these with pumpkin but had some butternut that I needed to use. I have been making a version of these muffins for years. I love them as they are light and fluffy. I started making these with carrots instead of the squash and would bring them to my daughter’s preschool when it was my day to provide snack. They were always a hit. As usual, I made a big batch so I could freeze some to have on hand for weeks to come.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (I mixed spelt and buckwheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded butternut squash
  • 3/4 cups maple syrup
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips ( I normally use raisins, but I felt like being a little decadent here)

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • in a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients
  • in a blender blend all other ingredients just enough so everything is well mixed
  • combine both, add chocolate chips, mix
  • grease some muffin tins
  • fill them up
  • bake 10-12 minutes for mini muffins, about 20 minutes for bigger ones
  • let cool on a rack before devouring (Just so you don’t burn your mouth)

The Snack Plate

It’s 10:30 am on a saturday. The kids have been up for several hours. They have had breakfast and snacked on fruit. Yet they keep on asking for food. I don’t like refusing them food because I don’t want to pretend to know when they are hungry or not, but I also do not want to be serving them food all day and then have them not eat at meal times. My remedy? The beautiful, nutritious Snack Plate.

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I tell them if they are hungry they can eat as much as they like on this plate. I make it a point of not putting any fruit because I know that that is all they would eat and although fruit has many benefits, it is still loaded with sugar and I do not want them eating that all day long either. I try and feed them a balanced diet, and providing this kind of snack plate makes it that they have no other option but eat vegetables if they are hungry. It works. This morning there were only 2 and a half celery sticks left on this plate by the time lunch came around. They weren’t super hungry for lunch, but since they had already eaten a good serving of fresh vegetables, I didn’t really care how much they ate. It takes away from my worrying if they are getting enough veggies in their diet, and it also takes away from the stress of constantly asking them to eat their vegetables during meal times. If all they wanted for lunch was eggs and potatoes, that’s fine by me.

Kids love to snack. Heck, I do to. Keeping healthy convenient food around makes snacking a nutritious stress free thing. Plus, as snacking can often be a mindless habit, it is even better to have this kind of food available for my kids. If they are watching a movie and want to snack during, putting a plate of fresh veggies guarantees they will eat them, because they barely pay attention to what they are putting in their mouth while watching a movie. This is Ninja Parenting right here folks 😉

The better we eat at home, the more relaxed I can be with our diet when we are out. And I love being relaxed about my diet when when we are out 🙂