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Whole Orange and Butternut Squash Breakfast Muffins

Whole Orange and Butternut Squash Breakfast Muffins
Growing up, we were the sort of family who used all elements of a vegetable, fruit or meat in our meals.

From the eyeballs of the fish to the feet on the chicken and the more mundane broccoli stalks (why only eat the florets?), nothing was off limits.
Most meat was cooked on the bone, prawns in their shells, fish steamed whole (with heads and tails intact) and everyone would gnaw their way through meals as happy as any caveman family could perceivably be known to do.

Then I grew up. And I realised that we were not the norm!

These days I carefully fillet fish for family and friends accustomed to a more refined way of eating, removing skin, bones and even bloodline. Chicken is always just the breast meat with all trace of sinew, skin and bone removed.

But increasingly I am wary of my children becoming fussy eaters. So my never ending journey to broaden their gastronomical horizons continues.

As a starting point we try to focus more on eating the whole (or as close to whole) of a fruit or vegetable as possible. The 6 year old even declared that she prefers the broccoli stalk to the floret - who would have guessed?

Not least, from a nutritional standpoint, the inclusion of the whole fruit, skin and all, means maximum retention of fibre and nutrients.

I first toyed with using the peeled orange along with the zest. But not only is this more time consuming there is little difference between what is being used. The trick is to use a thin-skinned orange with minimal pith. I did however draw the line at using the whole lemon quarter as the pith is slightly too bitter (I tasted it!).

Together with the orange, the naturally sweet butternut squash lends a wintery warmth to these muffins. Seasonally speaking we are still in butternut squash abundance here in the UK. Roasting it beforehand brings out the caramelised sweetness, especially when sprinkled with cinnamon. I use the skin of the cooked squash as well as the seeds for a textural crunch sprinkled on the tops.

Whole food, whole health, whole heartedly.

Whole Butternut Squash and Orange Breakfast Muffins

Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Refined Sugar-free

Makes 12

200g (approx 1 cup) cooked butternut squash (for Roast Butternut Squash Recipe see )
1 medium orange (approx 175g), washed, unpeeled, cut into eight pieces, pips removed
juice of 1/4 lemon (1 tbsp)
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (more for greasing muffin tin, if using non-silicone tray)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup tapioca flour, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
Optional: 1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup raisins
Optional: toasted butternut squash seeds for topping

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius, 350 degrees farenheit.
2. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or line a baking tray with silicone muffin cases as I did (or use a silicone muffin tray).
3. Blitz orange in food processor until it turns to mulch, scraping down sides if necessary.
4. Add butternut squash, coconut flour, tapioca flour, coconut oil, eggs, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda (and honey or raisins if using). Combine well.
5. Divide mixture equally between the 12 muffin cases. An ice cream scoop gives a neat rounded finish to the muffins.
6. Top with a few roasted sunflower seeds if using, gently pressing them down so they adhere.
7. Bake in pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden on the top and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
8. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin/ silicone muffin cases before removing from tin/ silicone muffin cases and transferring onto a cooling rack.
9. When completely cool store in airtight container in fridge or freeze for individual defrosting when needed.