Squash & Pear Morning Glory Muffins


So now we’re in Vancouver. All of us, this time. It took 12 hours or so to get here, slowed down a bit by a highway closure near Golden, which caused a few hundred people to cram into the Tim Horton’s beside the intersection of said closure, all with a not so subtle eye on the situation outside, and at the first sign of traffic being allowed through the mass exodus was like, I don’t know, something really funny that I might be able to think of if my brain was functioning at a respectable level.

I got home from Toronto last night at about 7, and the next few hours were a frantic flurry of laundry, reading to W, packing, wrapping gifts, charging electronic devices and catching up on work, with of course a break at 10pm to watch Jim marry Pam.

I’m not sure how long we’ll be gone this time – definitely almost a week, possibly a bit more than. Which meant kicking everyone out of the fridge that might get nasty and stinky over time. There was half a carton of buttermilk and a half a butternut squash that needed using up, so I made muffins – when traveling with a 4 year old and an 11 year old (my niece, Emily), having a sack of homemade muffins at the ready to deflect evil drive-thrus and gas station snacks is a very good thing.

Morning Glory muffins are a little like carrot cakes – typically made with grated carrots and apples, with handfuls of nuts and/or raisins and/or coconut thrown in. I just swapped grated raw squash for the carrots – did you know you could do that? Yes you can! And with sweet potatoes too! – and a pear and a half for the apple. Same dif.

Squash & Pear Morning Glory Muffins


Yields1 Serving

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar (white or brown)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 packed cups grated raw butternut squash or carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened (optional)
1/2 cup canola or light olive oil
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pear or apple, coarsely grated (don't bother peeling it)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray muffin cups with nonstick spray or line them with paper liners.


In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the carrots, pecans, raisins, and coconut and toss to combine well.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the carrot mixture with the grated apple and stir just until the batter is combined. Don’t worry about getting all the lumps out – overmixing will make the muffins tough.


Fill the prepared muffin tins almost to the top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are golden and the tops are springy to the touch.


Tip them in their cups to help them cool by allowing steam to escape.



 1 cup all-purpose flour
 1 cup whole wheat flour
 1 cup sugar (white or brown)
 2 tsp. cinnamon
 2 tsp. baking soda
 1/4 tsp. salt
 2 packed cups grated raw butternut squash or carrots
 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
 1/2 cup raisins
 1/4 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened (optional)
 1/2 cup canola or light olive oil
 3 large eggs
 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
 2 tsp. vanilla extract
 1 pear or apple, coarsely grated (don't bother peeling it)



Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray muffin cups with nonstick spray or line them with paper liners.


In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the carrots, pecans, raisins, and coconut and toss to combine well.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the carrot mixture with the grated apple and stir just until the batter is combined. Don’t worry about getting all the lumps out – overmixing will make the muffins tough.


Fill the prepared muffin tins almost to the top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are golden and the tops are springy to the touch.


Tip them in their cups to help them cool by allowing steam to escape.

Squash & Pear Morning Glory Muffins

How did it possibly get to be Friday again? This week I have a really cool little item to give away – I just learned of a new Calgary-based party planning service called Party Designers (started with the idea that more people should be cooking, entertaining, and enjoying time with friends and family around food), and the owner offered us up some gift certificates for her services. (You don’t have to live in Calgary.) It seemed timely – ’tis the season to start thinking about parties!

And congratulations to Elizabeth, our newlywed newbie soup-maker, who by some culinary miracle won herself a CrockPot! (It wasn’t the pitch, honest! The random number generator did it!) We’ll fully expect her to become a slow cooker diva this winter.

Since it’s Thanksgiving weekend, I’d love to hear what’s on your menu – party or not!

One Year Ago: Pulled Pork and Baked Beans


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50 comments on “Squash & Pear Morning Glory Muffins

  1. Angela
    October 10, 2009 at 5:44 am

    For thanksgiving I will have tofurkey(tofu turkey with stuffing), mashed potatoes, Gravy, roasted brocolli and pumpkin pie. yumm can’t wait

  2. Mar Hein
    October 10, 2009 at 8:15 am

    oh to win a gift certificate! 🙂 we are have Turkey, sweet potatoes with white potatoes, jelly salad, stuffing, gravy & bubbat-which is the best!! i am going to make Pumpkin Bars from Julie’s cookbook & use soya milk instead of condensed milk. 🙂

  3. June
    October 10, 2009 at 8:22 am

    It’s a little hard to get fresh whole turkey birds here yet, and I hate buying the frozen variety. I mean how long have they been in a freezer? Consequently I’m cooking Caribbean style braised turkey legs with rice, done osso bucco style. We just had a week of Caribbean food and we’re still craving the island flavors.

  4. Lauren
    October 10, 2009 at 8:22 am

    These sound delicious =D. Good Luck with the book!

  5. Rachel
    October 10, 2009 at 8:32 am

    We’re having ours tonight, as my sister works out of town a lot and today’s the only day she’s actually in Edmonton this weekend.

    We’ve got turkey, my mom’s parsnip and sausage stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, braised greens (kale and chard) with chickpeas, cranberry chutney, some sort of salad (probably caesar), and I’m thinking my mom will make at least one curry and some daal – she always does all of her cooking the day of, like a crazy person.

    And for dessert, I made dark chocolate ice cream and vanilla frozen yogurt. But I’m thinking of something else, to use up a ton of sour cherry preserves I made (they didn’t set up too well, so they’re more like a compote, the saucy kind you’d serve with duck or something). I’m thinking biscuits. If anyone has any ideas, that would be great!

  6. Pat
    October 10, 2009 at 8:42 am

    The menu for Thanksgiving does not and must not ever vary in this house. Those are the marching orders from my family, so there is no experimenting. OK I try to slip something new in every once in a while but usually unsuccessfully.

    But what I am excited about is the possibility of a Dinner with Julie cookbook! This would mean that all the haphazard print outs of your recipes would now live in a tidy book right next to Grazing. My latest “Julie” favourite is the mini lamb pitas. I served these at a 50th birthday party and they were everyone’s favourite. Go Julie Go!

  7. Stacey Maddock
    October 10, 2009 at 8:48 am

    damn girl do you ever slow? glad you’ll have some days off to just be in the next few 🙂 for thanksgiving we are having a small turkey breast with a meat log. some sort of beef log that ian will cook on the que because i can’t bear to look at it. fresh horseradish from the market, pretzel buns, fresh yellow and green beans, homemade caesar salad (ian’s specialty), garlic mashed potatoes and fresh fruit with icecream for dessert. there will probably end up being a few other things tossed in but that’s the gist. have a great holiday, see you when you get back!!!

  8. Leanne
    October 10, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Looking forward to turkey and all the things that go with it. I am going to try your coconut cake for dessert!

  9. ladyloo
    October 10, 2009 at 9:01 am

    For the first time since I left Canada I’m alone for Thanksgiving. Usually I make a turkey dinner, and then scrounge up whatever people I can find to help me eat it. This year? I think I’ll head into New Orleans and find me a shrimp po’boy, some sweet potato fries and an unsweet tea. When in Rome…

  10. Kathy
    October 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

    The Thanksgiving feast(s) started with our weekly potluck Thursday night, I made a turkey and there was roasted spuds and squash, 2 types of salads, home-made buns, and a to-die-for home made Turtle Cheesecake!!!

    This weekend we are at my in-laws and sounds like they’ll be another turkey. My contribution’s pumpkin cheesecake (which didn’t set all that well so I think I’ll call it Pumpkin Mousse!) There’ll likely be the usual suspects in a German/Mennonite home at Thanksgiving–zwiebuck (buns), fruit soup,as well as mashed potatoes, etc.

  11. Lindsay
    October 10, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Free-range turkey, stuffing, gravy, yams, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli with pine nuts and parmesan, and pumpkin carmel pecan gingersnap cheesecake!

  12. Vivian
    October 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I’m not the least bit traditional on holidays involving food, especially turkeys, as I never manage to finish it all up and don’t like leftovers past the two day mark, so…it will be pulled pork on a brioche bunwhich, maybe some borscht and doughnuts!

  13. Jennifer
    October 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I’ve got some cornish game hens (micro-turkies)thawing out and we’ll gorge on some fall veg from the last City Centre Market (Edmonton) of the season. We’ll wash it all down with some Okanagan Pinot Noir. Happy Thanksgiving.

  14. Christina
    October 10, 2009 at 11:08 am

    We’re going to my Sister in laws for dinner on Sunday. I don’t know what her menu is although I know there will be a turkey and I am bringing a sweet potato dish that has baked sweet potato with brown sugar, maple syrup and walnuts.
    Enjoy the west coast!

  15. Lauren
    October 10, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Hi Julie, I LOVE you blog!
    I am having thanksgiving on Sunday but tonight I am making a special dinner for my girlfriends. We are having maple marinated salmon over bacon barley, sauteed swiss chard and corn. All topped with maple syrup basted bacon. Delish! I can’t wait! enjoy your trip. Good luck with the book.

  16. Carrie
    October 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Thanksgiving will be Monday night dinner at my aunt’s house – she’s providing the beautiful turkey, my parents are in charge of the garden fresh carrots and peas, my gluten-free sister-in-law is bringing the dessert and cornbread and I’m on tap for the potatoes – buttermilk mashed with green onions! My uncle will be providing the comedy and my friend Pat will bring the wine

  17. pauline
    October 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I am cooking the turkey,all the kids are coming so it will be great. Have a great trip Julie, and you totally deserve all the good things comin your way.

  18. Salamander
    October 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Yay for Vancouver! It’s too bad Stanley Park just isn’t the same since the huge windstorm. The weather has held up though!

    Hope you have a great time here! It’s the first city that has felt like “home” to me!

  19. robyn
    October 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Well, seeing as I usually do my Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday, this year I’m having roasted hotdogs and marshmallows on a Vancouver beach with YOU! CAN’T WAIT! xo

  20. Elizabeth, the newlywed newbie soup-maker
    October 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks again Julie! I will do what I can to live up to expectations!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am going to attempt my first bird completely by myself this year (well, with help from Mr. Newlywed Newbie Soup-Maker). It could go either way.

    Maybe I’ll have a pizza place on stand-by.

  21. eroica
    October 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Welcome to Vancouver where just yesterday I picked a handful of raspberries from the garden. I also noticed that the raccoons got to the Golden Delicious apples before I did, but I did beat them to the Liberty apples. We’re having turkey (still a toss up between the barbeque and your crockpot version)
    parsnip and apple puree, potatoes, gravy and orange-ginger cranberry sauce followed by umpkin creme brulee.

  22. Irene
    October 10, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    My daughter in Calgary introduced the east coast to your site a few months ago. Thank you to both of you for the great ideas and recipes. I have shared them with many friends.
    We are at the star of Celtic Colors, 9 days of concerts, breakfasts and suppers so I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring. Pancake breakfast at one church hall at 7:30 this am and pot luck supper at another church hall tonight.Then a concert that include Qristina & Quinn Bachand from BC and Fidil from Ireland.

  23. Meghan
    October 10, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    That’s so excting that you’re in Vancouver.

    I hope you have a great time and you get your book deal with Whitecap. Let us all know how it goes!

  24. ajdoula
    October 10, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Dinner will be on Sunday for us, with both daughters bringing their boyfriends, for the first time…I don’t know if I’m up to this! We go for tradition, with roast turkey and apple-chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrot-yam casserole (a la Canadian Living 1986), green beans with almonds and three desserts…apple pie, pumpkin pie and apple crisp! Ah well, the upside is I don’t cook again until about Wednesday…

  25. Dani
    October 10, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Congratulations and good luck on the cookbook! Thanks for the chance at the giveaway. Though I’m in the U.S. it sounds like the Party Designers gift certificate could be used over the internet. When we have Thanksgiving here next month, we will have all of my late mother’s traditional recipes – turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn pudding, cranberry jello salad, rolls, pumpkin pie. Have a great trip and holiday.

  26. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
    October 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I made a butternut squash cake with grated squash and it was fabulous – tender and yummy. Have a wonderful holiday.

  27. Cheryl
    October 10, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Have a good time and say hit to Taryn.
    All set to make pie crust in the morning and gear up for a turkey dinner with friends. Nothing fancy, but I’m feeling italian so the stuffing may be roasted tomatoes and sausage and the brussel sprouts roasted with pancetta and balsamic.

  28. Buddiegirl
    October 10, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    We had dinner at my parents house today. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, gravy and homemade bread. For dessert pumpkin and apple pie. Most members of my family are fairly traditional so our dinners rarely vary from year to year.

    Have a wonderful time in Vancouver and the people at Whitecap books had better give you a book deal if they know what’s good for them. It will be a best seller for sure.

  29. margo
    October 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    My sister is cooking the bird and the dressing (which we do in the crock-pot actually! It’s wonderful!), and our newly-marrieds are bringing veggies, ie. parsnip puff and asparagus; mom makes homemade cranberry sauce and turnips (must-haves with turkey!). I am on dessert, so after taking a survey between pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake, the cheesecake won hands down. For a lighter option, I’ve also made your To-Die-For Cranberry Squares (One Smart Cookie) which are baking as I type. Then within this next week, I plan to do a small turkey in the crock-pot, since we will be without leftovers at our house and I always miss that part when I don’t host.
    Thank you for so many great recipes and ideas, Julie, and happy trails!! Getting your new book will be a no-brainer for me. Happy Thanksgiving!

  30. jacquie
    October 10, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    yumm stuffing. and something pumpkin – any form except pie – for dessert.

  31. Heidi M
    October 10, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    We don’t observe Thanksgiving but this year due to a supreme guilt-trip laid on by my mother who will be “the only one in the dining room” at her assisted-living residence, I am making Jacques Pepin’s mother’s Potato pancakes for our small family.
    All the ingredients get whizzed into a slurry in the food processor. I cook them on the waffle-maker to avoid all the fat involved in pan frying.
    Got that idea from your waffle-french-toast. Thanks!

  32. corinne
    October 10, 2009 at 11:32 pm


  33. Jodi
    October 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Since we are all a little sick with the flu, I think we’ll have some Italian Wedding Soup with biscuits for supper tonight.

  34. Erica B.
    October 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    We hosted two dinners – the first for friends, the second for family.

    Dinner #1 – 6 adults, 6 kids(one of whom is celiac): Deep-fried turkey (the guys we’re very proud) two dressings, one in a crockpot, the other oven baked & made with gluten free corn bread, mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, peas, and gluten free gravy. Dessert: lemon and butter tarts from COBS, pumpkin pie and (gf) pumpkin dump cake.

    The only wrinkle: I bought whipping cream earlier in the week knowing there’s always a shortage – date on the carton said Oct 15 – went to pour it into the mixer and it came out in chunks (eeeewww!!)20 min and three stores later I found a brand new carton at Shoppers Drug Mart.

    Dinner #2 4 adults, 8 kids: Was held midday so no time to roast a big bird…and the turkey deep fryer went home so this time we roasted three chickens, and had the traditional sides & of course pumpkin pie for dessert.

    All in all I peeled and mashed 15lbs of potatoes, cubed 6 loaves of bread, diced a small mountain of celery and learned ALOT about cooking and baking gluten free. Dinner #2 ended about 2:30pm and I’m still stuffed.

  35. Linda
    October 12, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Had a seafood feast with friends – crab, lobster, scallops, halibut, mussels and cheese fondue – fabulous time

  36. Barb
    October 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I got in on the tail end of mys sister’s Thanksgiving feast. Traditional turkey, stuffing, seet and white potatoes, Chinese long beans, spinach/orange salad, pumpkin pie. Delicious. Also, I’m at my sister’s because we are leaving for Boston tomorrow for a week of New England in the fall! Can hardly wait. I’ll likely be missing from the site for a week or so but be assured I’ll catch up when I get back! (Like anyone will care) 🙂

  37. erin
    October 12, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Usual Thanksgiving dinner, except I also made a pumpkin mousse trifle, layered with rum soaked gingersnaps. Yum!

  38. angela
    October 12, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    just made the muffins (carrot and apple). they smell yumm and quick and easy.

  39. Lesli Christianson-Kellow
    October 12, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Next it’ll be Julie the movie!!! Who would you choose to play you??? 🙂

    We had vermont ham, baked potatoes, kale/garlic/maple syrup, creamed corn, dinner rolls, white zinfandel, whiskey pumpkin pie & of course, real whipped topping…no gravy, weird, eh?

  40. Ashley
    October 13, 2009 at 8:13 am

    These look delicious! Great use of all the stuff in your fridge.

  41. Sarah (Calgary)
    October 13, 2009 at 8:54 am

    OK – I cheated. Canadian Thanksgiving for us is usually a pretty laid back affair geared around cleaning up the yard (didn’t count on the cold or snow so we cleanded the house instead). I ordered the Safeway turkey dinner in a box and reheated it in all its splendour (turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce and I added brocolli with a pumpkin pie for dessert). A simple way to have all the fixings (and leftovers) with very little effort. My turn to really cook will be in November when my family celebrates American Thanksgiving – those party planning certificates would come in really handy. Happy Thanksgiving and can’t wait to see the new book.

  42. amelia
    October 13, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    We had fresh turkey & curry laksa at a friend’s house on Sunday, then traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings Monday. Which leads to turkey sandwiches today!

  43. Shelley
    October 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Just made this muffins to take to work tomorrow…subbed spaghetti squash since it was in the fridge and craisins.

    The house smells great and with the snow falling outside I can almost pretend it’s a pretty winter day and not a day when I’m stuck working from home because the roads are so bad!

    (and I sampled a muffin and they are wonderful!)

  44. Nikki
    October 14, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    oh goodness, that muffin recipe looks amazing. thankfully i have some leftover squash from thanksgiving dinner! we also had turkey, cranberry orange stuffing, maple sweet potatoes, broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and a pumpkin roulade!! loving the leftovers!

  45. Q.
    October 15, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Oh these look deliciously hearty. I have a major squash problem in the fall and winter. It is ALL I want to eat:)

  46. Beverley
    October 21, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    This recipe is great! I used a Gala apple (I think) and a sweet potato, and included the raisins, nuts, and coconut. I didn’t have any WW flour so it was all white flour. Yum! I’ve been having one every morning for a mid-morning snack ever since. And a friend asked me for the recipe after she had one of them when they were still warm out of the oven.

  47. Jacinto Demallie
    May 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    i found your site while i was searching in google, very interesting.

  48. Kelsie Valois
    May 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Great post once again! Thank you=)

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