Friday, September 23, 2011

Cornbread Muffins with Squash and Blueberries


Muffins, like smoothies, are magical: kids will consume them, no matter what you put in them (even *gasp* veggies). My son particularly loves blueberry muffins so I wanted to come up with a way to pack them with diverse nutrients. 

Summer squash is both inexpensive and in season. It's full of everything from Vitamin C to B-complex vitamins (including folate) to omega-3s to zinc and magnesium. All of these work together to maintain a healthy blood sugar level in your body; this is important for everyone but is crucial during pregnancy. Oh, and to get squash's full antioxidant effect, make sure you eat the skin!


These muffins--definitely more of a grainy cornbread than a cake-y muffin--seem to have lots of ingredients and lots of steps. But, truly, they're easy. I just tried to break out all the steps as much as possible to make it easier for you, dear readers!

Ingredients
yield: 12-14 muffins
  • 1/2c unsalted butter (preferably organic, grass-fed)
  • 1/2c kefir
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 medium summer squash (about 2 cups when grated), tough ends trimmed
  • 3/4c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4c almond flour
  • 1/2c honey
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 3/4c medium-grind cornmeal (organic, please; non-organic corn is most likely genetically modified)
  • 1c blueberries (dried work well if you don't have fresh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Melt butter in a saucepan; when completely melted, pour into a bowl to cool. 

Once the butter has cooled, whisk in the kefir...

...and the eggs.



Grate the summer squash. I used a coarse Microplane grater; my sous chef held it steady while I grated. 

I got just under two cups of the grated squash. Add it to the butter mixture.
Sift flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. If you don't have a sifter, no worries! Put a fine mesh colander over a bowl and use that to sift. After you're done sifting, whisk in the cornmeal.

Fold the squash mixture into the dry ingredients to form a very thick batter. Then fold in the berries. Transfer batter to the muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for about 33-37 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling completely on a rack.


If you'd like to send these muffins in your kid's lunch box--but your child's school is nut-free--you can omit the almond flour and replace it with regular flour.

Full disclosure: when my muffins were still warm the papers were a bit greasy. This wasn't an issue when they were cool and I felt the texture of the muffins was just fine, so I personally wouldn't want to cut down on the fat, but I did want to give you the heads-up.

Are your kids maniacs for muffins?

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the muffin inspiration! ...I didn't actually make these muffins because we didn't have any blueberries.

    But I did sub in a banana and some chocolate chips and it was so yum! Never used squash in my baking before! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad they turned out well! I think recipes are just a good foundation for individual creativity (and what ingredients you've got on hand).

    ReplyDelete

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