Late last winter, however, when the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve was the only source of 'fresh' CSA farm share vegetables [still had stuff put up in the freezer and pantry], I got creative. I shredded the squash. Shredding a vegetable that you normally use in a mashed form gives you all sorts of options (like Chicken Saltimbocca).
In the end, I veered into the savory muffin direction (oh come on, the title of today's post gave it away). I had a bit of leftover dribs and drabs from a ham, and figured I'd chop them up and add them to the batter. I added a bit of cornmeal for crunch, and a bit of thyme because I could, and honey in place of sugar for a hint of sweetness--not too much. For a rather virtuous muffin (whole grain, no processed sugar) they are delicious. Come see!
|At first mixing|
|After soaking an hour or two. And adding thyme.|
Savory Butternut Squash Soaked Oat Muffins1 cup shredded raw butternut squash
1 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup OlivExtra (or cooking oil of your choice)
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped ham (optional, could be a bit more, could be a bit less)
In a large bowl, combine squash, oats and buttermilk. Let sit at room temperature 1 - 8 hours (or prep up to a few days in advance and store in fridge). When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 12 cup muffin pan with oil spray. Add egg, oil, honey and thyme to the squash mixture, stir thoroughly. Dump dry ingredients on top, mix a bit, add ham, and stir just until combined. Check the consistency of your batter. If the batter seems a bit stiff or dry, add a tablespoon or two of buttermilk to the mixture (I used 2 and that did the trick). Scoop** (affiliated link to my muffin scoop) batter into prepared pan. Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges, and turn onto a rack to cool completely.
Try these with soup!
**My scoop holds 3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) by volume, though the muffin batter is mounded in the scoop so I'm pretty sure I'm putting a good 3 ½ to 4 Tablespoons into each muffin well. The muffin wells in my regular muffin pans each hold 3 ounces by volume.