Whole-Wheat Ginger-Squash Muffins with Chocolate Chips

One last(?) squash purée recipe for the season!

I live in a country where the only cold cereals available at regular grocery stores (Tokyo Metro, you don’t count) are frosted flakes and cocoa puffs.*  As a result, I’ve learned to make a variety of breakfast foods. I’m actually not sure how I only ended up with one muffin recipe on the blog onsidering the frequency with which we eat them at home. Muffins are the ideal food for the Japanese kitchen: their size means they cook through easily, unlike some quick breads; silicone muffin cups are easy to find; and the infinite variations you can make means you can adapt them to whatever flours (including gluten-free), milk, or seasonal fruit you can find in your area. Plus, they’re just fun to eat.

Readers, you know what ingredients I like best. When I saw “Pumpkin-Ginger-Chocolate Muffins” on Daily Nibbles, I knew that squash purée would be perfect for this recipe. What really sets these muffins apart from most pumpkin/squash baked goods is the fresh ginger root combined with the chocolate. With the ginger, you can mince it or grate it to suit your taste– minced ginger gives the muffin more bite; grated ginger gives a overall smoother consistency.

Ginger-Squash Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Adapted from “Pumpkin-Ginger-Chocolate Muffins” on Daily Nibbles

Yields 12 muffins

100 g (1/2 US cup) brown sugar (sanontô, 三温糖), or brown beet sugar (tensaitô, てんさい糖, 甜菜糖)
60 mL (1/4 cup) applesauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten (tamago, 卵)
250 g (1 cup) squash puree (or pumpkin puree)
1 TBSP freshly minced or grated ginger (shôga, ショウガ, 生姜)
60 mL (1/4 cup) water
1 tsp vanilla extract (banira essensu, バニラエッセンス)
95 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour (komugiko, 小麦粉)
90 g (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour (zenryûfun, 全粒粉)
1 tsp baking powder (bêkingu paudâ, ベーキングパウダー)
1/2 tsp baking soda (jûsô, 重曹)
1 tsp cinnamon (shinamon, シナモン)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (natsumegu, ナツメグ)
1/2 tsp salt (shio, 塩)
100 g (1/2 cup) chocolate chips (choko chippu, チョコチップ)

For substitutions, see notes.

Silicon muffin cups (mafin kappu, マフィンカップ)
OR muffin tins (mafin kata, マフィン型)

1. Preheat oven (yonetsu, 予熱) or oven range to 200º C (400º F).

2. Grate or mince the ginger. Mix wet ingredients (sugar, applesauce, squash purée, eggs, ginger, water, & vanilla) in a medium bowl.

3. After measuring the dry ingredients, save the measuring cup you used for the flour for the chocolate chips (see #5). Combine dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt) in another bowl and add to wet ingredients.

4. Mix until the flour is incorporated.

5. Measure chocolate chips in flour measuring cup and shake to coat them in remaining flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of the muffins. Add chocolate chips to batter and gently stir to incorporate.

6. If necessary, grease muffin tin (if not using silicon cups or paper liners). Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake ~20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched.

7. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (unless in the summer) or refrigerator.


* In the city, we can get small boxes of All Bran at Marue or go to the import stores for muesli, granola, and corn flakes, but the prices tend to be high. I sometimes treat myself to Weetabix from Foreign Buyer’s Club when I’m ordering other items.

** The largest muffin tin that will fit in most Japanese ovens is 6 cups. It’s easier to use the silicon cups, since you can fit 12-16 on your square moven plate.

An equal volume of vegetable oil or olive oil for the applesauce. This will change the nutritional value.
90 g (1.5 cups) of all-purpose flour instead of half whole-wheat and half all purpose.


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