Ways to use shredded butternut squash, plus a muffin recipe

I always make a lot of puree with my butternut squash to stock in the freezer and use for baking, soups and other dishes. Last year I decided to shred a butternut squash and see how many ways I could use it. I did it with my Cuisinart and stored the shredded squash in the fridge for a few days. When you have the shredded stuff right there, with no thawing or pureeing necessary, it’s amazing how many dishes you can use this stuff in. Here are just a few ways I can remember using it, along with a recipe for shredded squash muffins at the end. Incidentally, you could do all of these things with shredded sweet potatoes, and you’d be adding roughly the same hint of fall color and shot of beta carotene to your meals.

  • Toss several generous handfuls into a saute pan with olive oil, garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Actually, you want to add the squash after those other ingredients, because it will cook a lot faster. When everything is cooked, add a can of crushed tomatoes, for a pasta sauce with extra vegetable nutrition.
  • Mix handfuls into oatmeal, pancake batter or any other breakfast goodie you are whipping up (yes, even smoothies). I think it would be great in this baked steel-cut oatmeal from Alexandra’s Kitchen.
  • Cook some hearty winter greens like kale or mustard in  garlic and olive oil (add a little water if you need to). When the greens have wilted to the texture you like, season with salt and pepper and throw in a few handfuls of shredded squash. Let squash steam cook within the hot greens. These are some beautiful fall colors.
  • Cook drained and rinsed canned black beans in garlic and olive oil (yes, I do a lot of this). Throw in squash or sweet potatoes and cook until everything is soft, adding your favorite Southwest seasoning blend, or just a touch of cumin, cayenne and salt and pepper. Take off the heat and mix with a little shredded or crumbled cheese of your choice (feta works well). Use this mixture to fill tortillas and make quesadillas.
  • Sneak shreds into your kids’ PB&J sandwiches. This worked last year. They may be too smart this year.

There are so many other uses I know I am forgetting here.  Below is a relatively healthy muffin recipe that will also use your squash. Happy shredding!

squashShredded butternut squash muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup yogurt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups shredded butternut squash

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1.5 cups white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup wheat bran

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix yogurt, sugar, vanilla, eggs, applesauce, squash and oil in a stand mixer (Or a bowl. You really don’t need anything electric for this recipe, I’m just lazy.)

Sift in dry ingredients. Mix just to combine, on lowest speed.

Spoon into muffin liners and bake 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

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