Tag Archives: cinnamon

Butternut Squash and Apple Muffins with Pumpkin Seed Streusel

I have received one butternut squash and one dozen eggs every Tuesday for the last three weeks from my CSA.  Up until yesterday, I had exactly three butternut squashes on my counter and three dozen eggs in my refrigerator.  I always like to kid myself and say things like “When fall gets here and the kids are back in school, I will finally organize their baby books.  Or clean out the storage area.  Or have that yard sale I’ve been meaning to do since June.”  Instead, I am confronted with back to school nights, violin shopping, supply acquisition, homework helping, pick ups and drop offs, driving, soccer, snacks, and maintaining some level of personal hygiene.

(Memo to my kids: I really have tried with your baby books.  Although I am very sentimental and keep things like your baby teeth and dried up belly button stubs, I am very poor at organizing these items into beautiful volumes for you to treasure one day.  I really hope it is OK that everything is crammed into a baby book with a cracked spine, papers falling out, and notes written in any color pen (or pencil) I had handy.  I do love you.  But not enough to scrapbook.)

And this entire month has been consumed by the Bloomsburg Floods.  We have the luxury of not being in the epicenter of the destruction and our busy schedule is pretty trivial compared to what the residents are going through.  But it has meant a lot of back and forth travel — which means bags that don’t have a chance to get unpacked before they are being packed again. Whirlwind is how some describe it, I think.  But as I talk with friends who are having their homes condemned, I am pretty sure a whirlwind would be a welcome feeling.  Never mind the “problem” of having all of your children’s baby book items in a box, rather than in a muddy heap never to be looked at again.

This whirlwind seems to blow cooking and eating rules out the window.  The grown ups have eaten a lot of Thai takeout. The kids have eaten way too many pasta dinners and lots of dessert.  It was the boy’s 5th birthday too, which seemed to provide an endless supply of cookies, rice krispy treats, cakes, and cupcakes.  But no more!

I turned on the oven yesterday (and it still worked!) and I made these muffins in an attempt to make a relatively healthy treat or breakfast that the kids would enjoy.  They are whole grain, quite low in sugar and fat, and filled with both butternut squash and apples.  They were a nice fall treat and used up one whole squash and 4 eggs.

Only two squash and 32 eggs to go.

Butternut Squash and Apple Muffins with Pumpkin Seed Streusel

Makes about 18 full size muffins

Muffins:
1 1/2 cups of cooked butternut squash (I like to halve mine, scoop out seeds, and slow roast for about an hour at 325 degrees Fahrenheit)
4 eggs
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar (can use more — up to 3/4 cup for a sweeter muffin)
1/3 cup applesauce
6 T vegetable oil
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 medium apple, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

Streusel:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (can use more here too if you like)
1 t cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped and toasted pumpkin seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients by whisking together cooked squash, eggs, dark brown sugar, applesauce, and vegetable oil.

3. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients by combining salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and whole wheat pastry flour.

4.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.  Stir in chopped apples.  Spoon into greased muffin tins about 2/3 of the way full. (You can use cupcake papers if you like.)

5.  Combine streusel ingredients (brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin seeds) and sprinkle a nice spoonful over top of each muffin before baking.

6.  Bake muffins for about 15 minutes until just done and a tester comes out basically clean.  Let cool a few minutes in tins and then remove muffins to a cooling rack.  (I had to use a knife to loosen them before removing.)

 

 

 

 

Honey Apple Oatmeal

I feel sort of silly posting a recipe for oatmeal.  But I have only recently discovered how easy it is to make oatmeal from scratch on a weekday morning. I honestly always thought it took like an hour or something and never investigated further — continuing to buy little packages of oatmeal at the store.  But if you think about it, those packets are ridiculously expensive considering they contain some ground up oats, dehydrated apples, sugar (lots of sugar!), and various chemicals…  Now I didn’t do price comparisons today at the store, but a quick online search told me that a 42 oz. container of old fashioned oats was about $4 and a 14 oz. box of instant oatmeals packets (10 pack) was about $3.59.  Even after adding in a few apples and some honey to that 42 oz. container, I still think it’s pretty easy to see which choice is more economical.  And it’s quick.  And it contains nothing that you don’t want to put in it.   And less packaging.

So, give it a try.  I swear it doesn’t take any more time than prepping a packet and throwing it in the microwave for two minutes.   And I think you will instantly notice how awfully much sugar they put in the packaged stuff.  That may take a bit of getting used to, but with fresh fruit and a bit of honey, we are getting over it.  

Honey Apple Oatmeal

1-2 cups old fashioned oatmeal (I usually do about 1 1/2 or 2 cups which makes plenty for three with a bit leftover)
Water (3-4 cups depending on how saucy you like your oatmeal)
Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt 
Honey (or Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup, etc.)
Vanilla Extract
One chopped apple
Milk or Cream 

Put oats in a medium saucepan with a pinch of salt.  Cover with 3-4 cups of cold water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring a couple of times so they don’t stick.   Add a little more water if necessary.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes depending on how tender you like the oats.   Stir in a bit of honey to taste, a splash of vanilla, and some cinnamon.  Serve in a bowl with chopped apples, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a bit of milk or cream (if you like).

Be creative with the many potential variations — different fresh or dried fruits, spices, nuts or seeds, etc.  

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