If you have kids you know how frustrating it can be when you make healthy food and the kids won’t eat it. As hard as you try, you can’t always get those picky taste buds to cooperate.
Last week I had one of those moments after I cooked up a bunch of acorn squash from our CSA vegetable box. The squash was naturally sweet and I thought it tasted fantastic but both my boys turned up their noses at it when it was served as a side dish to our meal. There was a bunch left over so I decided to use it in a batch of muffins. Did I tell the boys that the muffins were made with the dreaded squash? Of course not!
These “pumpkin” muffins can be made with any type of winter squash – acorn, hubbard, butternut – whatever you have on hand. I’m guessing that mashed sweet potatoes would work as well. And of course if you don’t have squash you can substitute pumpkin – I doubt the kiddos will know the difference!
Sneaky Squash Muffins
(adapted from a pumpkin muffin recipe on Epicurious.com)
2 cups all-purpose flour (use part whole wheat or white whole wheat if you would like)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cooked winter squash (acorn, butternut or others)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 cup raisins, chopped nuts or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare muffin pan with butter, cooking spray or unbleached paper baking cups.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, squash, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients in 2 parts, until just combined. Stir in raisins, nuts or chocolate ships if using.
Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.
What’s your favorite way to sneak healthy ingredients into your kids diet?