Who doesn’t love a nutrient dense snack? As any person can agree, when we are busy, finding time to eat can be a little challenging. Whether you need to tend to your children, harvest the garden, or are busy with meetings all week, grabbing a granola bar is sometimes all we can manage at the moment. The only problem is they are usually full of sugars, ingredients we can’t pronounce, or very expensive. These muffins are not only delicious and nutritious, but super budget friendly since you probably always have these ingredients in your pantry.
Living in our off grid cabin in the woods, we eat very seasonally. Read our story here. Summers are when the garden is flourishing with fresh produce and herbs. Rich with tomatoes, eggplant, basil, and so much more. In the winters, we are eating from our canned food, pantry staples, root vegetables and lots of squash.
Squash is so easy to find during the winter. They store very well, will last for months, and are full of so much delicious nutrients. But sometimes after you’ve made all the soups , you want a change. And that’s where these butternut squash muffins come in.
I use this recipe as a substitution for store bought granola bars. They keep well on the counter for a week and store great in the fridge and freezer. Perfect for grab-and-go for you or your kids, and the best part, they’re made completely from scratch with all good-for-you ingredients.
Oats are gluten free, packed with protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Using oat flour will keep you fuller longer. Oats are a great source of fiber and heart healthy. Making oat flour is super simple. Just put raw oats in the food processor or blender and now you have oat flour!
Flaxseed is an excellent pantry staple. Jammed pack with omega 3 fatty acids, loaded with vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, and iron, just to name a few. Rich in fiber, may stabilize blood sugar levels and promote blood sugar control. Flaxseed is super versatile. Add to your yogurt, smoothies, or granola. Need an egg in a recipe? Use flax instead! Perfect for pancakes, meatloaf, or even meatballs.
Why Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are the perfect addition to your pantry. Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. High in calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are super easy to add to any meal. Salads, granola, meat loaf, yogurt or smoothies. With zero flavor, just added texture, you can basically add chia seeds to anything.
Why Hemp Hearts ?
Completing my pantry trio of must haves, hemp hearts are another excellent pantry staple to have on hand. Highly nutritious, hemp hearts are loaded with protein, vitamins, omega 3s and 6s! Which means it’s great for your heart and brain and makes it a nutritious thing to add to meals. Yogurt, granola, meatballs, or sprinkle on top of a salad. No flavor noticeable, just delicious texture and added nutrients.
Needless to say, I’m in love with the trifecta of flax, chia, and hemp hearts.
Why Butternut Squash?
High in vitamins A,C, and magnesium. Butternut squash has a beautiful bright orange color and provides wonderful moisture to the muffins. Without the squash they are very crumbly and do not hold together well. You could also use a pumpkin or acorn squash. Just peel whatever squash you choose, boil, and mash into a puree. Feel free to freeze the remaining squash for the next recipe.
Which nuts to choose?
I have tried many different combinations of nuts in this recipe. Basically, just use what you have. A bag of mixed nuts, cashews and pine nuts, all pecans, or even just peanuts. These muffins will come out delicious every time. Choose whatever nuts you have or choose based off of nutrient content. If you have to use salted nuts, just eliminate the additional salt in the recipe.
Cashews – rich in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants
Pine nuts – high in omega 3, fiber, and protein
Pecans – anti inflammatory, high in healthy fats and vitamins.
This recipe could not be easier to make. Just throw your dry ingredients into a food processor or blender. Add in the wet. Fold in some fruit. Fill your muffin trays and bake.
As for a food processor, I could not recommend the Ninja enough. Whether living in a normal home, motorhome, or our off grid cabin, I have brought this with me everywhere we’ve lived. This combo ninja unit is incredible. Super powerful, durable, and versatile. If you do not have a food processor, you could always use a blender. Just be sure it’s powerful enough to cut through the nuts.
Now, let’s make these delicious muffins!
First, prepare your squash. This is something that can be done ahead of time. I like to do it the day before.
Peel , take out the seeds, and dice your squash. Boil in a pot of water, strain and mash.
Note: Feel free to add the peels to stock or broth. You could also freeze the remaining squash for a future recipe.
Add your dry ingredients to a food processor or blender. Oats, flax, chia, hemp, nuts, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Transfer your blended dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Add your wet ingredients. Eggs and maple syrup.
Add Vanilla and milk. Feel free to use a dairy free milk.
Add melted coconut oil. I’ve also tried almond oil and that works great. You could also swap in olive oil for a different flavor profile.
Stir until well combined.
Add in squash. Be sure it’s peeled, boiled, and smashed.
Optional: fold in blueberries.
Prepare your muffin tins.
Fill muffin tray
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool and enjoy!
I love this recipe for so many reasons. It’s a great grab and go snack, easy to bring to a picnic with friends, or bring on a road trip. Kid friendly and hungry husband approved, these are not only healthy but delicious! With so many wonderful ingredients, this is better than a granola bar. And it keeps you fuller for longer.
I hope this is a great addition to your meal prep arsenal. Bon appetite!
This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no addition cost to you.
Ninja Smart Food Processor – https://amzn.to/3CyNgtr
Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Muffin Liners – https://amzn.to/3ZjABUK
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Brown Flaxseed Meal – https://amzn.to/3WW9XQq
Organic Chia Seeds – https://amzn.to/3IxDbRl
Hemp Seeds – https://amzn.to/3ikKbX1
Joseph Joseph Nest 9 Nesting Bowls Set – https://amzn.to/3inP1Tf
Organic Coconut Oil – https://amzn.to/3Cx31kA
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