Airy muffins, enriched with butternut squash puree for a buttery taste. This Dairy-free, Gluten-free and Paleo recipe is made with cashew butter and honey.
In a previous post, I gave a basic muffin recipe, which turns out beautifully light muffins by using cashew nut butter as a flour substitute. I mentioned that the recipe can be adapted to make either sweet or savoury muffins. So, having already adapted the recipe to make some chocolate muffins, I decided to try some vegetable-based muffins, namely carrot & pecan, and these butternut squash ones.
But just because you use a vegetable as a base, it doesn’t mean you have to make a savoury muffin. Butternut squash has a naturally sweet flavour, which is enhanced when paired with cinnamon, such as the glaze used in the recipe below. Sweet glazes are a great way of ‘rescuing’ muffins if you realise you’ve misjudged the balance of your ingredients after cooking.
- 150g butternut squash puree (see instructions)
- 1 cup (170g) cashew butter
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (25g) coconut flour
for the glaze:
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Firstly, make the butternut squash puree:
- in the oven (easiest): chop the butternut squash in half lengthways. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon (you may find it easiest to first cut around the seed cavity with a small knife to sever the fibres). Cook in the oven for 50-60 minutes on 180°C/355°F, or until fork tender. Remove and discard the skin (once cooked, you should be able to easily scoop out the flesh with a spoon).
- in the microwave (quickest): peel the butternut squash, chop into inch-sized pieces, and place in a microwave-proof bowl. Chop a lemon in half and put one half of the lemon, cut side up, in the centre of the bowl. Reserve the other half for future use. Cover the bowl with clingfilm (this will trap the moisture from the lemon and stop the squash from drying out). Microwave on full power for 4 minutes, or until fork tender.
Once the butternut squash is tender, puree by blitzing in a food processor / using a masher. Set to one side.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
- Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for 1-2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, measure the wet ingredients (egg yolks, cashew butter, water, lemon juice, and honey) and mix until blended using an electric whisk.
- Add the dry ingredients (baking soda, salt and coconut flour) to the wet ingredients, and mix until blended using an electric whisk.
- Lighten the mixture by stirring in one-third of the whisked egg whites. Tip in the rest of the egg whites and gently fold in using a spatula: cut down the centre with the side edge of the spatula; scrape across the bottom of the bowl and up the side, scooping up the mixture as you go so that it is turned over and under; rotate the bowl 90° and repeat until fully blended. Be careful not to overwork the mixture and knock out the air, but make sure the bitter egg white is fully blended. Tip in the butternut squash and stir into the mixture using a wooden spoon.
- Pour the batter into silicon muffin moulds, nearly to the top of each mould, and bake for 20-25 minutes (until the top is browned and springy to touch). Do not open the oven door before 20 minutes, as this will stop the muffins from rising properly.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes, before popping out of the moulds and onto a wire cooling rack.
- Once cool, glaze the muffins. Combine the glaze ingredients in a small pan (water, honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon) and stir using a wooden spoon. Heat over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes. After about 2 minutes the glaze will start to thicken, and you will need to stir continually to prevent it from sticking. After the full 5 minutes the glaze should be slightly sticky, but still spreadable. Leave to cool for 10 minutes to firm up. Spoon the glaze on top of each muffin using a metal spoon. Spread the glaze evenly across the top using the back of the spoon or a pastry brush, then leave to dry.