Around this time of year, we’re all about the squash. Our pumpkins have usually given up by late December or early January (though this year, they are still going strong at the end of February, which is amazing!), and we are on to the c. maxima squash, which tend to be better keepers for us. However, even the best of our c. maximas don’t usually last much past early April, so by February and March, we’re motivated to use them up.
One of our favorite c. maxima varieties are Red Kuri squash. They are a cute little teardrop shaped squash (around 3-5 pounds), that has a gorgeous deep red-ish orange color. They generally keep until sometime in March for us, and they are very dense, with a distinctive nutty flavor that is not as sweet as our other favorite c. maximas (Sweet Meats). We often use Red Kuri squash as a substitute for sweet potatoes in various savory recipes, because they hold their shape fairly well when cooked. However, sometimes, it’s nice to highlight the squash for what it really is.
These muffins are a nice way to use up some Red Kuri squashes, especially late in the year when they can sometimes get soft spots, and roasting and mashing is simpler than trying to cut out the spots and still get nice cubes. They are great for a hearty winter breakfast, with a bit of a gingersnap flavor.
Red Kuri Muffins:
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 cups red kuri squash, roasted and puréed (to roast the squash, just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast in the oven at 350 degrees F until it is soft when you check it with a fork. Refrigerate or freeze leftover purée)
1.5 Tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
In a large bowl, mix puréed squash, eggs, olive oil, and molasses until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined, but don’t over-mix, as the texture of the muffins will suffer.
Stir the raisins into the batter.
Spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm with butter.