Happy Friday everyone!! Since we are turning the clocks ahead this weekend I am hopeful that Spring might actually be around the corner. It has been a brutally long and chilling winter. As a result I have done quite a bit of baking. Before the warm weather hits I thought it might be nice to post one more Winter inspired and comforting recipe. I decided to create these cranberry squash muffins on a cold day when I had a yummy looking acorn squash in the kitchen that was just waiting to be be utlilized. I was in the mood for something sweet, so instead of using the squash for something savoury I thought a versatile muffin that could be eaten for breakfast, snacks and dessert was the way to go! Aside from leaving yourself a bit of time to pre-cook the squash, this recipe is quite simple and rather tasty!
On top of being delicious, these muffins are packed with a variety of beneficial nutrients including some of the following:
1) Fibre – This makes it extremely heart healthy as well as satiating.
2) Vitamin A – Evident in its bright colour, Beta-Carotene which is then converted to Vitamin A once ingested into the body, is one of the most abundant antioxidants you will find in squash. It is amazing for eye sight as well as the repair of damaged cells.
3) B Vitamins – It is especially high in vitamin B5 and B6, both of which help to support the nervous and immune systems. During a cold winter and under times of stress these vitamins are particularly important.
4) Antioxidants – In addition to Vitamin A, squash is packed with a variety of antioxidants including Vitamin C. These antioxidants can be particularly beneficial at reducing inflammation in those who suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Colitis, Asthma, etc.
Here are the fun and easy steps to this gluten-free, grain-free, paleo AND vegan treat.
– 1 cooked acorn squash (to bake simply cut off the top, scoop out the seeds, place a bit of water in the centre and bake on 400 for about 45 – 60 minutes)
– 2 cups of almond meal
– 1/4 cup of coconut flour
– 1/4 cup of ground flax/chia seed blend
– 1/2 tsp of baking soda
– 1/4 cup of coconut oil
– 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk
– 1 tsp of vanilla extract
– 2-3 tbs of unrefined coconut sugar (depending on preferred sweetness)
– 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (naturally sweetened and sulphite free)
1) In a large bowl scoop out the cooked squash and throw away the skin.
2) Add in the coconut oil, almond or coconut milk, vanilla extract and coconut sugar.
3) Using a hand blender or food processor mix the ingredients together well, be sure to remove any clumps.
4) In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients.
5) Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture and blend together well.
6) Using a table spoon place large scoops onto a muffin tray (I like to use muffin cup liners for this).
7) Preheat oven to 375F and bake for roughly 25 minutes or until the edges of the muffin begin to brown.