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Healthy Muffin Recipe with Butternut Squash and Avocado

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 Healthy Muffin Recipe with Butternut Squash and Avocado

Get a ‘Boost’ from Your Foods

I love to bake these savory Butternut Squash Avocado muffins for my family because it makes me feel good knowing that they’re enjoying them just as much as they would any pastry. The difference is that this muffin contains the added benefit of combining ingredients that work hand-in-hand with each other. The avocado acts as a “nutrient booster” by helping to increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K and E. 

A California Avocado is heart-healthy and contains good fat that enhances the absorption of the vitamin A found in the butternut squash. My muffin recipe offers an excellent source of Vitamin A, with each muffin providing 25% of the Daily Value. 

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California Avocados and almonds also make great food friends; both foods partner as good sources of fiber. Consuming foods rich in fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, help maintain good bacteria in the gut and they’re both heart-healthy, potentially helping to reduce cholesterol levels. The almonds in the almond flour are a source of vitamin E, another fat-soluble vitamin that is better absorbed when eaten along with the good fat from avocado. 

As an added bonus, this muffin also is a great choice for lacto-ovo vegetarians, those vegetarians whose diet includes both eggs and dairy products. They also can be made vegan-friendly by swapping out Greek yogurt and subbing in a plant-based yogurt. Try my yummy recipe below with Fresh California Avocados, which are in season now.

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Butternut Squash Avocado Muffins Recipe

Serves: 12           

Prep time:   35 minutes
Cook time:   25-30 minutes
Total time:   60 minutes

These savory muffins combine the natural sweetness of butternut squash, the rich texture of a California Avocado and the subtle flavor of coconut. Enjoy this muffin for breakfast alongside a dollop of cottage cheese or serve with a steamy bowl of soup. A recipe variation adds chocolate chips to create delicious dessert muffins. These muffins are an excellent source of vitamin A (25% DV) and vitamin E (20% DV).

Nutrition Attributes Highlights (based on recipe nutrition analysis data):

  • Trans Fat Free
  • 6 g Protein
  • Good source of dietary fiber (14% DV) and protein (12% DV) 
  • Excellent source of vitamin A (25% DV) and vitamin E (20% DV) 

Ingredients: 
12 paper muffin cups (optional)
Cooking spray
1 lb. fresh butternut squash – peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes (or 1 cup canned pureed butternut squash)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and mashed (about ¼ cup)
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sliced almonds 
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare muffin tin with paper muffin cups – spray each cup with cooking spray. Set aside. 
  3. If using fresh butternut squash, place cubes on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for around 30 minutes or until fork tender. Cool, puree squash in food processor and set aside. 
  4. Spoon flours into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.
  5. Whisk together baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  6. Combine sugar, eggs, avocado, yogurt and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until well combined.
  7. Add almond milk and pureed butternut squash, beating at a low speed until blended together.
  8. Add flour mixture to above mixture and beat at a low speed just until combined (don’t over mix).
  9. Spoon batter into muffin cups and fill half-way. Sprinkle a few almonds evenly over each muffin. Top with chocolate chips (optional).
  10. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Serving Suggestion: 
Serve warm in a basket as a muffin to accompany a steamy bowl of soup or as a savory muffin to go with appetizers. For breakfast, enjoy a muffin with a dollop of cottage cheese.

Beverage Pairing: Pairs well with a mug of hot coffee or tea or alongside a smoothie for a post-workout snack.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (does not include optional ingredients): 
Calories 170; Total Fat 7 g (Sat 1 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 0.5 g, Mono 1.5 g); Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 290 mg; Potassium 260 mg; Total Carbohydrates 24 g; Dietary Fiber 4 g; Total Sugars 6 g; Protein 6 g; Vitamin A 218 mcg; Vitamin C 8 mg; Calcium 105 mg; Iron 1 mg; Vitamin D 0 mcg; Folate 21 mcg; Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.03 g  

% Daily Value*: Vitamin A 25%; Vitamin C 8%; Calcium 8%; Iron 6 %; Vitamin D 0%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

**Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

 

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

Bonnie Taub-Dix

Bonnie Taub-Dix is a registered dietitian and the award-winning author of, “Read It Before You Eat It (Plume),” and owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants, LLC. She is a motivational speaker, freelance journalist and media spokesperson whose messages are laced with her passion as a foodie, her wit and wisdom, and her realistic guidance without gimmicks.

Bonnie has conducted thousands of interviews for all forms of media including television and radio shows and print and online sources such as CNN, “CBS Early Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “TODAY,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Martha Stewart Radio,” “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post,” as well as a variety of national magazines. She is an advisor to global corporations, food companies, and media outlets devising wellness programs, creating media/social media campaigns, and conducting workshops for health professionals and consumers. As a nutrition consultant to The Cartoon Network, she is involved in issues regarding programming and advertising to children.

She is a health &amp| wellness blogger for “US News &amp| World Report” and “Everyday Health” and her stories appear in national magazines and newspapers online and in print. Bonnie was the recipient The Academy of Nutrition &amp| Dietetics’ 2012 Media Excellence Award. She is married and has three sons…all foodies! She can be found at BetterThanDieting.com and on Instagram at @eatsmartbd.

Bonnie is a registered dietitian nutritionist for the California Avocado Commission. Their content on the California Avocado Commission website and/or blog are part of their partnership with our organization..

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