Orange fleshed squash such as acorn and butternut are a large storehouse of beta-carotene. On top of being an antioxidant to help fend off those pesky cell-damaging free radicals, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body that helps with immune defense and good vision. You could also do this entire recipe with pumpkin... or half and half!
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com
1 Large Butternut Squash (about 1-2/3 cups to 2 cups)
2 eggs worth of Ener-G or Smash up a banana and 1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 Cup Softened Vegan Butter (earth balance)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Spice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Cups Gluten-free Flour (I suggest something neutral like brown rice flour or regular flour if you're okay with gluten)
1. Preheat oven to 400º degrees. Wash, dry and cut the squash in half length wise and remove seeds and place on a baking sheet. Brush on some extra virgin olive oil. Bake for about an hour. Check to see if the squash is done by piercing it with a fork.
2. Scoop the squash out, allow to cool and puree in your food processor. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the agave, vanilla, eggs substitute and butter. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the butternut squash puree. My batter was a little dry so I added a little almond milk and Organic canned pumpkin.
5. Prepare your muffin pan and add the batter a little over halfway. I made 12 cupcakes, you can make more. Bake at 350º for 18 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center and check to see if it comes out clean.
That's it! Allow to cool and then smother with pumpkin butter, almond butter or just eat plain! Enjoy!!! :)