I was curious one day to find out if Japanese kabocha squash (a type of Japanese pumpkin) would work well in baked goods. I find it so yummy in tempura and other savory dishes, I wanted to try it out in a sweet muffin. To my delight, it worked really well! One of the key things is that the kabocha squash is not as watery as pumpkin, so it does not need to be strained before using the puree.
Another delicious Asian flavor is ginger, so I decided to use crystallized ginger both in the muffin and sprinkled on top to add extra zing to the muffins. I love that these muffins are light, moist and full of delicious fall flavor.
I hope you make some and enjoy them soon!
Kabocha Squash Ginger Muffins
Makes approximately 10 muffins
The first step in this recipe involves roasting and pureeing the squash. The directions to do so are below:
Roasting the Kabocha Squash:
1 medium kabocha squash (found in Asian markets)
1. Heat the oven to 325F.
2. Cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds.
3. Place both halves on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven. Roast for 1 hour or until the squash is cooked through and soft.
4. Let the squash cool to room temperature. Scoop out the flesh and puree it in a food processor until smooth. Now your puree is ready to be used in the recipe below. 1 roasted kabocha squash will yield about 2 cups puree, enough for 2 recipes or 20 muffins.
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup (plus extra for sprinkling on top) finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 cup kabocha squash puree
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Heat the oven to 350F. Spray 10 muffin cups with vegetable oil spray or grease with melted coconut oil.
1. In a medium bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together.
2. In a separate medium bowl, mix the honey, squash puree, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract together with a large whisk. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the squash mixture. Mix just until combined.
4. Scoop an even amount of batter into each of the 10 muffin cups. There will be 2 empty cups. Fill those with water so that the muffins will bake evenly.
5. Place the pan in the oven and top with chopped crystallized ginger if desired.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until done in the center.
I hope that you enjoy these delicious muffins! If you love this post and it made you hungry, pass it on to a muffin-loving friend!