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Butternut Squash Muffins

Butternut Squash Muffins made tangy with fresh cranberries. They’re great for breakfast, or afternoon tea!

I have to say that butternut squash muffins aren’t something that ever occurred to me before. But, faced with one from our weekly CSA that sat on the counter for at least two more, I knew something had to happen. Most people would immediately think soup, but I’m a weirdo. Pureed soups, unless they’re tomato, don’t always sit well with me. While pregnant? Nuh-uh. Not happening.

I decided I’d start by simply roasting the butternut squash. I mean, anything can be made from roasting a vegetable. Soups, a side dish, even a puree. I must admit, making butternut squash puree was about a thousand times easier than making pumpkin puree, and the flavors are very similar.

Don’t get me wrong – I adore pumpkin in all its many forms. This pumpkin bread recipe? Rocks my socks every season. But pumpkins always seem a lot more intimidating than a li’l ol’ butternut squash. Especially since you can peel the skin with a vegetable peeler, and chopping the squash is simple from there.

Tart cranberries are the perfect addition to these muffins. Butternut squash is sweet and earthy, and it needs a counter-balance. You could add some lemon zest and skip the cranberries, but why would you do that? Baking fresh cranberries in anything transforms them into beautiful bursts of tangy, juicy flavor. You could use dry cranberries instead, but if you can get your paws on some fresh cranberries, don’t skip them.

Lastly I added toasted pecans, because, yeah.. Texan. If a pecan can go in a baked good, I’m going to do my best to shove it in there. I love the contrast in texture they provide, as well as the additional nutty tones that complement the butternut squash. But you don’t have to add nuts unless you want to. You could also toss in some sunflower seeds, pepitas, or even chocolate chips.

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Deborah

Sunday 20th of October 2013

Butternut squash is one of my favorite things ever - I have got to try these!

Erin | The Law Student's Wife

Thursday 17th of October 2013

How did you know that my impulse buy butternut squash is giving me a dirty look from our countertop as I type?? I know where that baby is headed...into my muffins! Love this idea Amber.

Amber

Friday 18th of October 2013

Haha, Erin. Been there, done that. Hope you enjoy them!

Kathryn

Thursday 17th of October 2013

Love the idea of squash in a muffin - I made sweet potato muffins a little while ago and I was really impressed with the texture. It's opened a whole new world of muffin-baking! These look great, I love the combination of the pecans and cranberries.

Amber

Thursday 17th of October 2013

I still need to try that too, Kathryn! I'm in love with sweet potatoes this year. I always kind of liked them, but since we've been getting them regularly in our CSA box, TOTALLY in love.

shelly (cookies and cups)

Thursday 17th of October 2013

I totally adore these! Would never think squash --> muffin, but you rocked it!

Amber

Thursday 17th of October 2013

Truth be told, friend, I was just trying to avoid the obvious hash or soup! We've been eating a lot of roasted vegetables, and the night before I made these, we'd had a roasted hash with sweet potatoes, parsnips, purple carrots, and broccoli. I wasn't feeling MORE roast vegetables, so why not puree, right?

They're really good though!

Ruthy @ Omeletta

Thursday 17th of October 2013

This is such a perfect change-up from pumpkin-everything right about now! I've always been more of a butternut fan myself. Love the idea of adding pepitas for a bit of nutty crunch.

Amber

Thursday 17th of October 2013

Ruthy, thanks so much for your sweet comment! I have to admit, I'm not normally a huge butternut fan, but fell head over heels for it in these muffins. Something about the addition of cranberries made them absolutely addicting.