Ginger Molasses Squash Whole-Wheat Muffins

Soooo excited to be back to baking for fun rather than the wedding cake marathon, which ended up amazing, by the way but more on that another time.  My first day back on the baking horse resulted in these muffins, which I highly recommend if you are craving a little taste of fall mixed in with the last days of summer!  I know, the “F” word is a horrifying notion that equates to school, backpacks, crisp days, gorgeous fall colors… and warm delicious fall flavors!!!  While I am not ready to go all pumpkin on you yet, I am not opposed to a little bit of molassy, gingery, cinnamony warmth this time of year.

I am not about to rush into fall any sooner than the next Seattlite, but you see, my aunt has a pea-patch with an out of this world yield.  The woman could feed a small army.  And, apparently when you become a gardening pro like her you also harvest your own seeds.  Last year, she harvested seeds that she assumed would produce zucchini.  This year as her crops grew she discovered that her seeds had cross germinated with crookneck squash yielding Crookini!!  Crookini is exactly what it sounds like!  A hybrid.  Slightly crook-necked zucchini with a yellow-green hue.    Imagine thick skin, zucchini-like flesh with a squash-like seedy middle.  In keeping with her “feed a small army” yield, she has been handing out Crookini like its going out of style.  While I am unsure it was ever in-style, I have been scooping out the seeds and using the flesh like a zucchini!  Compared to the mildness of zucchini, there is a slightly more squash-like taste – which to me is airing on the side of FALL!  I know, I know, there is that word again.

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Now, to the muffins!!! They don’t require any wonky incidental hybrids and can be made with any squash or zucchini you have on hand.  They are whole wheat, dairy free, and refined sugar-free!  A little molasses, ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg make these moist fall previews the perfect transition.  I am already thinking about making a version with pumpkin and butternut squash later in the year!  And the mix-in potential is pretty much endless!!  Walnuts, pecans, raisins, cranberries, dried coconut, diced apples, stone fruits, fresh berries,….So many options!!

I am so not a whole wheat baked goods kind of girl.  Bran muffins: bring it on.  But whole wheat sandwich bread only, please.  So believe me when I say that I am loving the flavor complexity that whole wheat adds here!  A little molassy warmth here is perfect!  So Coconut sugar with a little good old-fashioned molasses for good measure are just adding to the warm flavor party…

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If you can pull yourself away from your beach lounging, suntanning, and camping long enough to recognize the last days of summer are upon us, then these muffins are just what you need to ease you into fall!

Ginger Molasses Squash Whole-Wheat Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbl. molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup grated squash (zucchini, “crookini,” summer squash, etc…)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Prep a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together in a bowl.  Set aside.

In stand mixer, beat coconut oil, sugar, and molasses until combined.  Add eggs one at a time mixing just until combined.  Add zucchini and vanilla and mix to combine.

Add flour mixture to zucchini batter in two parts until combined.

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Using 1/4 cup measuring tool, scoop batter into muffin tins.  Muffin cups should be 3/4 of the way full.  If desired, sprinkle some turbinado on top or possibly some unsweetened coconut flakes, a nut, a slice of peach, or keep it as is.  Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes.

Delicious hot or cold.  Treat this as the whole wheat muffin base of your DREAMS!  No squash?  Unsweetened apple-sauce or grated apple will do the trick!!  OR try with a a carrot, zucchini, apple mixture for a carrot-cake like result!  Pretty sure this recipe has a long future ahead of itself in my house!!

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