Another great kid-friendly recipe from our guest blogger Kristen Beer from With a Grain of Salt.
Finding ways to get food to be the right texture for my 3 year old to eat has become a challenge. It’s a balance between trying to help him eat healthfully and trying not to cater to his every whim and complaint. Some days I’m an alternative food cooking rock star. Some days, he eats chicken nuggets.
I was looking for ways to get veggies, protein, and whole grains into my child. I’ve found and adapted a recipe for muffins which, even though I think they’re bland and boring, he will gobble up like candy. After some experimenting, I came up with this awesome squash muffin recipe.
Ingredients: makes 12 muffins
2 cups old fashioned style oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (substitute with extra oats for a gluten free option)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
8 oz yogurt (I used vanilla)
1 1/2 cups puree butternut squash (you can also use canned pumpkin)
1 tbs honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
To begin, you’ll need to process your butternut squash. One squash will make about 3-4 batches.
It’s easiest to start by peeling it. Use a veggie peeler and peel it like a potato. This will make cutting it much easier. If you only plan on making one batch at a time, hack off as much as you think you’ll need and leave the skin on the rest. It will last in the fridge for at least a week.
Cut it into 1 inch cubes and put them in a bowl with enough water to fill the bowl halfway. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, then stir and microwave again for 5 more minutes. Don’t throw the water out!
Then puree in your blender or food processor adding water from the bowl to help it get soft enough to blend. Now let it cool down while you mix your other ingredients.
Next turn your oats into flour. I buy old fashioned style and grind it in my food processor till it resembles coarse flour.
Then combine all the dry ingredients.
Wet stuff comes next. Mix it all up in a separate bowl. I try to add the squash puree last to be sure it’s cooled enough to keep from scrambling the eggs.
Mix the wet with the dry and then let it sit for about 10 minutes. I find that the longer you give the oats to absorb the liquid, the better the texture of the end result. It will get very think and gloopy. Think oatmeal, not cake batter.
Heat your oven to 350, grease a muffin pan, fill the cups right up to the top, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Poke the middles with a toothpick. If it comes out mostly clean, they’re done. I usually just make sure the sides are beginning to brown, not burn, to know when to take them out.
The end result is very moist and chewy. To me, it feels like more solid oatmeal. This is not a cupcake, people. It’s too healthy for that. But my kid eats ’em and yours might too! These muffins take some rigmarole but they freeze and reheat very well. One minute from frozen in the microwave for one muffin does the trick. I serve them for breakfast, lunch, snack and, depending on how my day went, he sometimes gets them for dinner.
For an extra delectable version, add 1/2 cup of brown sugar or give them a sweet topping.
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