These whole grain pumpkin spice butternut squash muffins are a healthy, flavorful, aromatic, and fluffy treat that are perfect for fall!
The temperatures are dipping, the colors are changing, and race season has begun again, which you know what that means: autumn is arriving soon!
Fall is my absolute favorite month. One of the reasons why? In addition to the weather, colors, attire, and running, I adore fall harvest foods. I could probably live on them throughout the entire year, particularly winter squashes.
Supposedly, you can store winter squash for a better part of a year in a cool dark pantry, but for some reason mine never make it that long, and it’s not because they spoil.
During the season that is all the range for everything pumpkin, I savor the other winter squashes: butternut, kabocha, and acorn. So, brace yourselves for what will be an inevitable influx of winter squash recipes on the blog!
One of the first recipes I tested and shot for the upcoming Eat to Run e-cookbook was a butternut squash almond bread. Oh my goodness, was it delicious! We devoured the two test loaves in no time flat, and since then, I’ve been restless to bake again with butternut squash.
Butternut squash has a vibrant and sweet flavor to it that rivals that of pumpkin. Supposedly, butternut squash actually makes a better pie than pumpkin, and I’ll let you know whether that accurate or not in a few weeks when I whip up a butternut squash pie for Ryan’s birthday.
Butternut squash not only tastes good; it is abundant in vitamins and minerals. Its vitamin A will boost your immune system, maintain healthy vision, and promote bone metabolism (the continual regrowing of new bone tissue). Its vitamin C plays a key role in recovery by lessening oxidative stress. Niacin (vitamin B3) promotes healthy cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health. Iron fights fatigue and boosts your athletic performance. Magnesium promotes better sleep, increases your energy levels, and improves your body composition. Doesn’t that all make you want to dig into a big dish of butternut squash?
Whew, that was a science lesson! As a reward, let’s have some muffins!
These whole grain pumpkin spice butternut squash muffins are a subtly sweet, fluffy, and aromatic treat that are as healthy as they are delicious. When I say fluffy, I mean light, tender, melt-in-your-mouth mountains of goodness.
As the title suggests, these pumpkin spice butternut squash muffins are 100% whole grain! They contain oats and whole wheat flour. I always use Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour since it has a fine, stone-ground texture; a whole wheat pastry flour would work well also.
Sometimes whole wheat flour can often produce a dense and less-than-desirable baked good. Not the case with here! Double leaving and an increased baking temperature provide these butternut squash muffins with plenty of volume and a light, airy texture.
Since I’ve been eating less sugar lately, my palate has become more sensitive to sugar, so I concocted a muffin that only offered a subtle touch of sweetness. The lower-sugar content makes these ideal for anyone watching their weight or trying to eat high-quality foods during the peak of training. If you crave a sweeter muffin, please check the notes on the recipe below.
Finally, I used homemade butternut squash puree for these muffins! You can purchase butternut squash puree in some stores, but the process to make it requires very little effort. Plus, homemade squash puree tastes better, is fresher, and is extremely budget-friendly. First, you peel the squash with a sharp knife and chop it up into small pieces (approximately 1-inch in diameter). Then, you steam the squash over medium heat in a pot or pan (with a small layer of water at the bottom) for 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your squash). Once the squash is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Use your food processor to puree it up. Half of a butternut squash usually makes about 2 cups of puree.
Note: If you do not eat these within three days, freeze to preserve optimal taste and texture.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup milk of choice + 2 tablespoons, divided
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree*
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted**
- 1/3 cup brown sugar***
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Soak the oats in 1/2 cup milk for 5 minutes to soften.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the butternut squash puree, egg, brown sugar, and maple syrup.
- Stir the oat and milk mixture into dry ingredients. Form a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredient mixture. Lightly whisk together. Gently fold the butter and remaining milk into the batter.
- Grease or line the cups of your muffin pans and divide the batter evenly amongst the 12 tins.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the domes are peaked and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- *See post for directions on how to make your own butternut squash puree.
- **You can substitute coconut butter if desired, but don't use applesauce or yogurt - the final product will be too moist.
- ***For a sweeter muffin, increase the sugar to 1/2 cup.
- Store in an airtight container lined with paper towels for 1-3 days. You can also freeze for optimal taste and texture, especially if you do not plan on eating the whole batch within 3 days.
Questions of the Day:
Do you like winter squash? Which one is your favorite?
Who else has started eating everything pumpkin?