Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blueberry Squash Muffins

I just love muffins. They’re so friendly. But before I say any more about muffins, I need to clarify which kind I like. There are the kind that are just cute-shaped cakes that don’t do much more for you than normal cake would, and then there are the kind that are more bread-like and wholesome. Not too dry, but not really oily either. With oats. This is the kind I love.

Justin loves them too. Last summer we were visiting my grandparents’ house in western New York. My aunt had brought muffins, and my grandma had made granola, and there was good toast, and a lot of breakfast options in general. So I asked Justin if he wanted a muffin or toast with his granola. He had just woken up and was still kind of stumbling around. He hadn’t said too many words yet. In a rather mid-westerner accent, he croaked out “MAHFIN.” I started laughing at him and promptly imitated the way he said muffin. Now it’s a running joke whenever there is a muffin in the room.

So for this batch of muffins, I had a lot of yellow squash on hand. Also, my co-worker had brought some blueberries into work that, surprisingly, no one was really eating. So I snagged those (don't worry, I'll bring in the muffins tomorrow for everyone) and decided to combine the two ingredients into a delicious, wholesome, and very friendly muffin.

I based these particular muffins on a zucchini bread recipe from foodnetwork.com, and I tweaked it quite a bit. I usually substitute plain yogurt or applesauce, or both, for oil found in baked goods recipes, but this time I used a combination of all three. I used yellow squash instead of zucchini, added blueberries and walnuts, and used a blend of whole wheat, oat, and white flour instead of just using white flour.

Blueberry Squash Muffins
Makes 12

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated yellow squash or zucchini
1 cup blueberries
1 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray and lightly flour muffin tin.

1) Stir dry ingredients, except oats, in large bowl. Stir in oats last. Make a well in the center. Set aside.

2) Whisk together wet ingredients in medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to center well and stir just until combined (don’t over stir – it will give you dense muffins).

3) Add squash, blueberries, and almonds and stir just a bit more until everything is combined.

4) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until fork comes out clean.

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