May as well hop onto the pumpkin muffin bandwagon… though pumpkin pie isn’t my favourite (and I don’t enjoy squash in my latte), I do like a spiced pumpkin muffin. And a batch in the oven makes the house smell fantastic.
Despite the fancy-sounding name, you don’t need roasted squash per se to make these – so long as enough heat has been applied to your squash of choice to soften it (it could be microwaved, or steamed, or baked) it will work just fine, as will canned pumpkin purée. But I posted on Instagram a few days ago that you could, while the oven is on to bake cookies or a lasagna, stick a whole winter squash directly on the oven rack and just let it bake. Which requires literally zero prep, and makes them infinitely easier to handle.
Over the weekend, as I baked batch after batch of cookies for book signings (thanks for coming!) I tossed in a smallish kabocha – one of my favourite kinds… I love its dense, dark flesh. A medium squash will take about an hour, and once cool you can peel it with your fingers – no wrestling with a tough squash and a knife. And you can still roast the seeds! Look – the flesh is soft enough to scoop out with your fingers.
Just stash the whole squash in the fridge until you’re ready to use it in soup, curry, smoothies, or whatever. If you’re using it for muffins, like I did, you can mix the squash and sugar together to get rid of any lumps – no need to puree it on its own first. Huzzah! An all-purpose pumpkin muffin recipe! And you could take it even further – I made a batch with squash and an overripe banana, and they were equally fantastic. A handful of chocolate chips or raisins wouldn’t hurt, either.