Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sugar and Wheat-Free Roasted Butternut Muffins.

Well I’ve got myself into such a pickle. I feel cheated of my Lazy Sunday. Things started on the wrong foot when I woke up early enough to go to work. That’s always a disappointment on a Sunday isn’t it?  The laundry pile is threatening to take over the universe and I’ve got so many things to do, I’m in a tiz-woz about where to start. I’ve had to write a ‘To Do’ list with the 3rd entry being ‘Brush Your Teeth’. At least that one is achievable; hang on…

That’s better. And now the recipe for those muffins with a fresh and minty out-look and calming cup of coffee. Everything else can wait. This is what I want to be doing today, my Lazy Sunday. The rest can wait. Everybody else can wait!

I don’t even have kids yet.

But back to those muffins I promised yesterday.  After they had been extracted from the oven and left to cool on their little rack in the kitchen, I returned a little later to find that half of them had already been eaten; the boys licking their lips without a glimmer of suspicion in their eyes. I took the risk of uttering those undesirable words; ‘sugar and wheat-free’ so as not to feel that I had knowingly tricked them into a corruption of their rugged steak and beer-swilling masculinity. But this information didn’t seem to faze them at all.


So as always, these are easy enough to make on a boat or caravan, provide plenty of good energy and fibre, taste fantastic warmed with a little butter and lemon curd or natural yoghurt, however you please. But yes, they are totally sugar-free and wheat-free and if you only use corn (maize) flour, they can be gluten free too. And if you are a steak-eating, beer-swilling sailor type, it would appear that you will also like them. Who knew?

So for 12 large muffins you will need;

1 large butternut squash
200g wholemeal spelt flour
100g of fine corn flour (maize)
2 tsp baking powder
50g unsalted butter
200ml natural sugar free yoghurt (goat or dairy, I used goat)
1 free-range egg, beaten
2 tsp of vanilla extract
25g desiccated coconut (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half or if you prefer use an orange instead.


  • Heat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC, 375ºF.  Cut the squash in half and place cut side down onto a lightly greased baking tray and bake until soft, about 45-mins to an hour.

  • When the squash is cooked remove from the oven to cool and turn the oven up to gas mark 6.

  • Now sift the flours into a large bowl and add all the other dry ingredients including any of the spices you would like to use

  • Melt the butter and then mix into a smaller bowl with the yoghurt, beaten egg, vanilla extract, lemon (or orange) zest and juice.

  • Using a fork, roughly mix the yoghurt mixture into the bowl of flours, blending the ingredients together but not too much.

  • Mash the cooked butternut squash with a fork. Add this to the muffin mixture and fold the butternut in with a large metal spoon. Again, do this gently and you don’t have to over-do it. Muffin mixtures always work better if they still have a few lumps here and there.

  • Put a good couple of tablespoons worth into each muffin hole in your muffin tins and if you like, shimmy a little extra cinnamon over the tops before putting into the oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes but check them after 20 as your oven probably doesn’t lie about its temperature like mine does.

Well now, that’s another tick in the box. Well done me. My Grandmother used to say, ‘Everything in moderation’, and she lived till she was a hundred. Think I might take a leaf out of her book and leave the ‘to-do’ list till a bit later. Mustn’t over-do things.

Now, lets not all get too excited but I do believe that that is snow over in them there mountains…

Things are looking up.

Thanks for reading.