Pumpkin and Feta Muffins
(Makes 12 Muffins)
2 cups winter squash (butternut, buttercup), cut into ½ cubes
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 large handful of fresh spinach, chopped
2 Tbs fresh parsley, minced
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
½ cup cubed feta
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 cups flour
4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp sage, dried
1 tsp thyme, dried or 1 Tbs. fresh, minced
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds toasted
Spraying oil to coat muffin tins.
Preheat oven to 400F.
1. Sprinkle the olive oil and salt over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl add three quarters of the squash with the spinach, parsley, pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, two-thirds of the feta and gently fold together.
3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, milk and mustard together and fold into the squash mix.
4. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, sage, thyme and pumpkin seeds. Toss into the squash mixture and fold together just until the batter comes together, be careful not to over mix.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and a taste tester comes out clean. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. I like these muffins cooled a bit, served just warmer than room temperature.
Bites of Insights for Muffins:
Don’t overmix the batter. A lumpy batter will yield more tender muffins. Muffin pans come in different sizes which will effect cooking time. If recipe does not fill all muffin cups, fill empty cups with water. The muffins will bake more evenly. Muffins should be placed in the oven as soon as the batter is mixed. Always check muffins for doneness, 5-7 minutes before end of recommended baking time. Depending on the muffin tin and other variables muffins are often done quicker than the recipe calls for. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center muffin and if it comes out clean they are all done.
Adapted from a recipe in Martha Goes Green by Rosie Percival and Ruth Friedlander.