Some women buy shoes and jewelry. Others buy purses and new handbags. Mi mama? She buys more pounds of winter squash than one family could possibly consume in a lifetime. In fact, she came home with enough pounds of Kabocha and Sweet Mama squash yesterday to balance out her weight if put on opposite sides of a scale. Not that she’s a large person or anything, but that’s still a whole lotta squash! Now I guess it could be worse. At least she’s buying items that don’t just sit in her closet, untouched with an enormous price tag still attached. And thankfully what she buys is only 79 cents a pound instead of $79,000 a carat. But still, this woman has obviously gone a little crazy in the squash department. First it was peanut butter, then it was Saigon Cinnamon, and now this. I can’t wait to see what will be next. Let’s hope it isn’t prunes. One person spending the majority of their mornings in the bathroom is bad enough. And I really don’t think our plumbing could take it.
So seriously, what is a TeenyLittleSuperChef to do when his mama brings home a small army of winter squash on a Sunday afternoon? I mean, besides making a call to a local addiction psychiatrist. Why, make muffins, of course. First, though, I needed to puree some of the squash in order to incorporate it properly into the recipe. You can easily skip this step and just used canned pumpkin or squash instead, but it definitely won’t have the same yum factor and you won’t be able to say that the muffins were completely homemade. Well I guess technically I didn’t grow my own sugar cane or hatch my own chicken eggs, but you get the point.
I pureed my squash by simply cutting, gutting and peeling my squash into cubes. I then placed them in a steamer basket which was in a large pot filled with about an inch of water. I covered the pot, turned the heat to medium high, and steamed the squash for about 8-10 minutes until it was nice and soft but not mushy. Then I took my hand-held mixer and pureed the squash on medium low until it was smooth but not watery, about 30 seconds. And voila! You’ve got yourself some squash puree. So much better than Libby’s… not to mention so much cheaper. The puree will keep in the fridge for about a week if you keep it covered, but why let it hang there when you could add it to a yummy muffin recipe.
Sweet Mama Ginger Nut Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup Sweet Mama squash puree
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 ground ginger
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with Pam.
2) Sift together the flours, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.
3) Mix the squash puree, butter, applesauce, eggs, 2 tbsp water and spices together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix. Fold in the nuts and candied ginger.
4) Spoon mixture into prepare muffin pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Enjoy!
These make an awesome breakfast or afternoon snack and are not too overly sweet. If you love ginger, you’ll especially love these. Oh and candied ginger can usually be found in the bulk bins at most grocery and specialty stores. Don’t tell mi mama though. She obviously loves to buy everything in bulk and I don’t think we have the pantry space for 20 pounds of candied ginger. We may have to transfer one of the bedrooms in our house to her “impulse buy” room one of these days. Although I guess it’s better that than a nursery. Babies are attention-whores and always smell bad… then again, it is fun licking jelly off their fingers.
Oh and here’s a picture of what a Sweet Mama squash looks like before it gets “squashed” down into a puree for muffins.
Yeah, picture that but times 20. Oh well, I’m sure there’s a self-help group out there somewhere for her. Or maybe Valium.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be going. Aside from figuring out what to do with the 19 other Sweet Mamas hanging out on the counter, I’m currently training for our upcoming mountain climbing trip to Mount Everest. Here’s a picture of our most recent expedition to the Grand Canyon. I think I did pretty well, don’t you?