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Butternut Squash and Walnut Muffins

Serves: 10 to 12
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1 butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Half the squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Drizzle each side of squash with olive oil and salt. Bake until the squash is fork-tender, 60 to 70 minutes, or longer depending on the size of the squash. Turn off the oven while the squash cools.

Let squash cool completely, then use a spoon to scrape out the flesh. Using a blender, purée the squash. Measure out 2 cups purée and reserve the remainder for another use. (If not making the muffins right away, you can store the squash purée in the fridge overnight.)

Turn the oven back to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or loaf pan with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix in the squash purée.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and stir to combine.

Using a spatula, fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips, if using. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin or loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes for muffins or 50 to 60 minutes for a loaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Photo and recipe: Catherine Baker

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