My father begins each morning with a danish (slice of poundcake, oversized muffin), a filled-to-the-brim black coffee, and a tall stack of newspapers. Surrounding himself with AM hubbub, piping caffeine, and what I can only imagine is the emblematic sweetness of what he hopes to manifest in his day ahead; deviation is seldom. Making the great pilgrimage to our holiday table in less than a months time, Andrew and I have already begun fiddling in the kitchen, elevating his routine and our Thanksgiving day with seasonal and healthful touches, from start to finish.
The not-too-distant relative of my dad’s favorite pumpkin cream cheese, this butternut squash muffin is our unprocessed and plant based, though still wonderfully indulgent, breakfast alternative. Made with rolled oats and almond flour, those familiar and warming pops of autumnal spice, and naturally sweetening medjool dates, we serve ours fresh from the oven alongside coffee and Must Try Pumpkin Chai. Topped with a healthful dollop of dairy free cream cheese and a drizzle of local honey, say hello to a bite we can all be thankful for.
Spiced Butternut Squash Breakfast Muffins [makes 6]
Inspired by Alex Hely-Hutchinson’s 26 Grains, Chai Butternut Squash Muffins
2 tablespoons chia seeds
6 tablespoons filtered water
1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
10 medjool dates, pitted
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup coconut oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almond flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
dairy free cream cheese + honey to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle. Line an extra large muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together chia seeds and filtered water. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until mixture forms a gel-like consistency.
Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, pulse squash and dates until well combined and squash is chopped very fine. Add chia gel, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla and continue to pulse until very smooth.
Transfer squash mixture to a large bowl and stir in oats, almond flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.
Evenly distribute mixture amongst six muffin holes, then place in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and semi-firm to the touch (they will continue to solidify as they cool). Serve topped with a smear of dairy free cream cheese and local honey, to taste. Enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per muffin]
390 Calories, 21g Fat, 51g Carbohydrates, 9g Fiber, 28g Sugar, 8g Protein
All ingredients generously provided by Whole Foods Market, Montgomery County