Behind Brown Eyes

21st century flogger. That's food-blogger, fyi. Now if it were the 17th century...
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Last Sunday I made these perfect little fall muffins. I like them because they’re sweet, healthy and low fat. Translation: they’re great for post-run, post-dinner, late-night snackers like myself! You saw the finished product up on the blog then—but by now, most of them are either in my tummy (mmm!), or stored on my (self-proclaimed) shelf in the freezer. The shelf where my healthy(er) sweet treats and creatively cooked concoctions lie. Shh!

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Just a few chef’s notes before I get to the recipe. (I know, I know—but these are important to note!) I subbed the Butternut squash (BNS) in this recipe for a home-grown Sweet Dumpling (SD) I had bought that day at the Roscoe farmer’s market. The SD is generally sweeter than BNS, and made for a very satisfying swap! I’m in love with this variety, so if you can find it, use it in this recipe! Don’t be a boring BNS girl; there are so many better squashes out there. And as I diligently attempt to try, tackle, taste and triumph them all, you can expect recipes, reviews and tips to help you do the same. Ideally with far more ease and grace than CUTCO’s eyes hath seen.

Next time I’m going to try using all SD squash and no banana. (A sign of any great recipe when you think “next time”). After oven-roasting the SD, I might also try adding a little bit (maybe a scant tbsp.) of real maple syrup to the squash to bring out its natural sweetness. Don’t get me wrong; the full tablespoon of cinnamon helps quite a bit. But I find that reheating the muffins with a sprinkle of fresh agave powder on top gives them that sweet smidgen more that I crave.

Below is my recipe, adapted from the Butternut Squash Muffin Recipe via Women’s Running.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed Sweet Dumpling squash
  • 1 small very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I used homemade, sweetened with cinnamon & sugar)
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or milk (I used 1% milk)
  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour (I used 1 c. white & 1 c. WW)
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed meal (I used 2 tbsp. Kretschmer Honey Crunch Wheat Germ)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt, scant
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the squash, banana, applesauce, oil, eggs, milk and sugar together until well combined.
  3. In another bowl, mix the flour, flaxseed meal (or wheat germ), baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together.
  4. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. (Be sure not to over mix as this will result in a denser muffin).
  5. Line a muffin tray with liners and fill each cup approximately 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Check muffins. (Mine took a bit longer to cook. They’ll be done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean).

Other Notes:

  • Yield: 16 muffins.
  • Nutrition per muffin: 125 calories; 3g fat; 81mg potassium; 23g net carbs; 11g sugar; 3g protein. [View full nutritional breakdown here].

I won a pie!! I mean, I hate pie. But I love the fact that I won a #pie. I also placed 2nd in the F20-29 age group! :) A little hilly, but overall a very nice run through Croton today at the Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger 10K. I finished in 48:12.8, pacing at 7:46/mile—and I got a nice medal and pie to show for it. Now that’s a victory I can (literally) taste! #running #raceday #racebling #pie #runagainsthunger #HarryChapin (at Croton-Harmon High School)

When it looks this good?? #Nofilter necessary. We done good @brookeariel.

And for #dessert: Pumpkin-Carrot Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting. The fun fall #adventures with @brookeariel never end!! So thankful for our friendship, spontaneity and long overdue reunion! :)

Dinner for @brookeariel: PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps with a Cheddar Chive Buttercup Squash Smash. #homemade #nofilter #ChefKrystinaLynne

Why do you build me up? #Buttercup baby…

#Butcher the #Buttercup! #squash #vegetable #Roscoe #farmersmarket #homegrown #ChefKrystinaLynne

#TBT: When I semi-spontaneously ran the #Yonkers #HalfMarathon on 9/28/14 and placed 4th in the F20-29 age group! :) Not my fastest time, but for not formally training, I was happy with 1:45:27; it’s pretty consistent with my road pace. One day I’m gonna make the top three in one of these local races/halves—and NOT mistakenly receive a post-race e-mail telling me I placed third and need to pick up my award in Brooklyn! (Even when I stayed for the awards and didn’t hear my name called lol). One day it will be me up there. I can’t describe what it would mean, but I can say this: it’s not about the physical medals or awards you might win at the end. It’s about the unique #journey and #challenges that each race brings. One race is never the same as the next—and all that #unknown that you #learn and #experience throughout a course is what brings me to every starting line. I’m #thankful for each #race I’m able to finish. Because with every step and stride, I’m reminded of just how far I’ve come to create a better me. With that kind of mindset, every day is a reward. Running is not a #destination. It’s a rewarding journey that never ends. #betteryou #owntheroad #running #NYCRUNS #racebling #YonkersHalfMarathon #inspiration #fitspiration

Yesterday night, #LynnesLadle featured this Squash and Sweet Potato Red Thai Curry Soup—with chicken thighs! Conquered that #Kabocha and am loving its rich flavor and creamy texture. A great big “yummo!” to what is also known as the “Japanese sweet potato” of squashes. #foodiefact #squash #sweetpotato #curry #Thai #Thaicurry #chicken #ilovedarkmeat #ChefKrystinaLynne #LynnesLadle2014

Queue the #Kabocha.
Tomorrow she cooks the #squash!
Thailand in New York. #haiku

Can’t wait to make this curry and conquer my first Kabocha! Stay tuned. :)