Native American Squash Muffins: Perfect For Thanksgiving

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 3:36pm  |  COMMENTS (18)

Want to see your family get excited about eating squash? Bake muffins featuring the sweetest of varieties: the delicata, and call them “Native American Muffins.”

Ok, so it’s doubtful Native Americans treated the Pilgrims to these muffins at the first Thanksgiving. But we do know they ate plenty of squash–which comes from the Narragansett Native American word “askutasquash.”

The delicata, also known as “bohemian squash,” is our family favorite because when roasted, it caramelizes and sweetens so much it tastes almost like candy. It’s also a terrific source of dietary fiber and potassium.

Native American Delicata Squash Muffins

  • 2 cups delicata squash puree, from 2 medium-sized delicata squash. (You may substitute small sugar pumpkins, but the flavor will not be as sweet, yummy, and distinctive!)

Delicata squash.

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. ground ginger
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 t. natural vanilla extract

To make the puree, first cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Brush the squash halves in olive oil and sea salt. Roast at 400 degrees until you can easily slice through them. Let cool. Scrape out the flesh and puree in a blender. (You can do this step a day in advance if you like.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Mix gently together the contents of both bowls.

Divide dough among 24 greased muffin cups. Fill cups only 3/4 full. (I love to use the autumn cakelet pan with pumpkin, acorn and leaf shapes that I bought on sale after Thanksgiving last year at Williams-Sonoma in Montclair.) Bake for 15-20 minutes. Lightly sprinkle with brown sugar.

This is my own recipe. You may prefer a different level of sweetness or spiciness. Adjust ingredients accordingly to please you and your family.

Indian corn drawing by Ella.

Bonus: Roasted Delicata Squash Seeds

Cook the seeds in a little olive oil, sea salt, cardamon and sugar for a crunchy treat. Here’s how: Coat the seeds in the ingredients above and arrange them one-layer deep in a shallow pan. Roast at 350 degrees for ten minutes, stirring once.




  1. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  November 20, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    From Elizabeth Warrens cookbook.

  2. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  November 20, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

    “Squashed”, from Mitt Romney’s cookbook.

  3. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  November 20, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

    To be consumed whilst listening to Wayne Newton records.

  4. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  November 20, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    The way Bill O’Reilly is moping around these days, lamenting the passing of the old order, you’d think he was a Lenni Lenape, an Iroquois, or perhaps even a Canarsie. Yeah, more of a Canarsie, I think.

  5. POSTED BY cathar  |  November 20, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

    I think I’ll hold out for a recipe for “Kennewick Man Muffins,” thank you very much.

    And while it’s usually bad enough that you’re unfunny, Spiro, now you’re trying to force your non-witty metaphors into a thread to which they have no apparent connection.

  6. POSTED BY walleroo  |  November 20, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    it’s doubtful Native Americans treated the Pilgrims to these muffins at the first Thanksgiving.

    I am certainly doubting it.

  7. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  November 21, 2012 @ 12:23 am

    Imagine, Spiro, trying to “force your way into” a thread!


    If you’re going to go ahead and do it anyway, may I suggest that you start the post with “I once attended….. ” ,and then be sure to bring the words “bikers”, “righteous”, and “frothing” in as needed.

    References to Clifton’s diversity, Blue Wave perfidy, and The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem circa 1940 will garner extra points!

    Oh! Don’t forget to work in the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” !

  8. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  November 21, 2012 @ 6:49 am

    You forgot to mention St. Augustine, Cro.

  9. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  November 21, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    ….and Angela Davis.

  10. POSTED BY Christina Gillham  |  November 21, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    Let me be the first to actually comment on the post, and not turn an article about muffins into a political minefield (sheesh, people!). Dana, these look delicious. Can you use acorn or butternut squash also?

  11. POSTED BY danahawkinssimons  |  November 21, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    christina, thanks for (attempting to) get everyone back on track. i’d think you could use any squash, but the result won’t be as sweet as with the delicata. if you use acorn, butternut, or pumpkin squash, i’d add a 1/4 cup more brown sugar.
    they really are tasty. my 8-year-old daughter and i have baked them for a couple of class holiday parties, and the kids gobble them up!

  12. POSTED BY cathar  |  November 21, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    It was, I believe, properly the”Greater Southeast Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” during WWII, croiagusanam. And it was such a nice gift to native peoples from the folks who later gave us Sony and Panasonic products. So nice that during the war’s days an estimated 10,000 a day died from its “benefits.”

    I do hope, however, that Spiro will save you his turkey bones so you’ll have something crunchy to gnash on this holiday weekend. That and squash rinds should make you a very nice “holiday” dinner indeed, accompanied by the beverage of your choice.

  13. POSTED BY Conan  |  November 21, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    On quiet holiday eves you can almost hear the “Humbugs!” rising to the surface…

    But even amongst the rubble, the damages, and the other God-awful messes that Sandy left behind there is still much for which many of us can be thankful. And that (IMHO) does not include the wonderful bargains awaiting on Black (Thursday-evening-into) Friday morning.

  14. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  November 21, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    Wrong, again, cathar:

    Surely even someone as half-educated as you would realize that Korea and Manchuria, for example, are not in SOUTHEAST Asia. Not only, it seems, are you a tiresome pedant, you’re not even a very good one, sad to say.

    I’d be happy to incorporate Spiro’s unwanted bones into the wonderful turkey soup I’ll be making, and enjoying, with family and friends. I’d invite you over, but I’m sure you’ll be busy with your righteous biker pals!

  15. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  November 21, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    cro, if cathar does show up, make sure you have plenty of Native American Squash Muftis on hand.

  16. POSTED BY walleroo  |  November 21, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    Let me be the first to actually comment on the post, and not turn an article about muffins into a political minefield (sheesh, people!).

    Excuse me, I believe I made a legitimate comment on this post, unlike those other knuckleheads.

  17. POSTED BY montclairfan3  |  November 21, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

    Legitimate comment, walleroo? Are you sure about that?

    Yours was, alas, a snarky comment, which, by leaving off the word “OK,” did not honestly reflect the meaning conveyed. “Ok, so it’s doubtful Native Americans treated the Pilgrims to these muffins at the first Thanksgiving…” was obviously meant as a little joke. (Something which so very, very many commenters on have, sadly, absolutely no understanding of.)

    And I must register my dismay that your misguided comment, which incorrectly quotes from the article, became today’s “Featured Comment.” It is obvious that favors you, walleroo, but is there really such a dearth of interesting comments to feature today?

  18. POSTED BY frobnitz  |  November 21, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

    Montclairfan3, I DO understand Walleroo’s meaning regarding the muffins which, as you note, was obviously a little joke. On the lighter side regarding the recipe, Native Americans did not have blenders, nor electricity to run them with even if they did have them. Nor did they have oven thermometers. Getting back to the true meaning for this holiday I, for one, am truly thankful for what I do have (specifically, power and my house still standing.) Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.

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