Kuri Squash Corn Muffins and the Official Start of Autumn 2010

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

red kuri squash; Japanese Squash; Orange Hokkaido Squash; Baby Red Hubbard Squash; Uchiki Kuri Squash; pumpkin; vegetable; orange; yellow; black; table; red; brown; green; vertical; winter squash; healthy; organic; fresh; season; Autumn; corn; muffins; cupcakes; ribbon
In the northern hemisphere this 22nd and 23rd of September marks the official start of Autumn. To welcome the start of Autumn 2010 I have baked a very Autumn treat, Kuri Squash Corn Muffins. The spirit of Autumn is very much alive in these little muffins, from the vibrant colors to the taste and smell. I love Autumn first and foremost because of the vivacious color palette, which can sometimes feel like you are walking in a magical almost fairy tale painting. There is a different kind of smell outside, a crisp and cool breeze that somehow magnifies the beauty of nature changing and getting ready for something else. Taking those long walks to hear and feel the soft crunching of the dying leaves beneath my feet which radiate the most magnificent shades or red, orange and yellow. Then sipping that warming cup of tea after I've come back from a long cool walk. I love the feeling of my scarves wrapped around my neck, so soft and cuddly. Here in Prague it seems like Autumn has arrived a little bit early this year, which to be honest even though we had a cool Summer I am not minding at all. My little family has already been out enjoying the sunny Autumn weather with plenty long walks. This weekend my husband and I went out to the city center and we saw some of the trees starting to change colors already. Of course I had my little point and shoot camera with me and I can't wait to go back out once all of the trees have changed, it will be so beautiful to see.

Two thing that screams Autumn is here are corn on the cob and all of the pumpkin/squash varieties for sale every where. So I thought why not combine the two with some warm spices. I actually didn't use fresh corn for the muffins but instead used corn flour. I used red Kuri squash which is also know by these names Japanese squash, Orange Hokkaido squash, Baby Red Hubbard squash, and/or Uchiki Kuri squash. This is a round small winter squash that has a bright orange skin and a vibrant yellow, like Turmeric, flesh with thick seeds. It is my first time both tasting and cooking with this squash and I liked it so much that I bought a few. I have already used it in several recipes for us and even cooked it for our little puppy, in case you are wondering he loved it! The taste is a very similar to a chestnut of all things, and it is very easy to cook with because it absorbs spices well. I sliced and roasted the squash then mashed it to use in the muffins, so this is what I advice you to do as well. The extra leftover squash can then be used in any other recipes you like.

red kuri squash; Japanese Squash; Orange Hokkaido Squash; Baby Red Hubbard Squash; Uchiki Kuri Squash; pumpkin; vegetable; orange; yellow; seeds; wood; table; brown; green; vertical; winter squash; healthy; organic; fresh; season; AutumnIngredients: (makes 12 small muffins)
1 cup (140 grams) all purpose white flour
11/2 cups (185 grams) medium grain corn flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. organic brown sugar ( adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 whole allspice
4 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
11/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (140 grams) cooked and mashed red kuri squash
1 medium egg
1/3 cup (85 grams) plain white yogurt
3 tbsp. sunflower oil
1/2 cup ( ml) whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 200C or 390F, prepare the muffin molds. Grind the whole allspice and cloves in a mortar and pestle to a fine powder. In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar,salt, ground allspice, ground cloves, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. Mix these dry ingredients until well incorporated making sure the spices are well distributed in the flour. Set the bowl aside.

2. In a separate bowl whisk the mashed squash, yogurt, oil and milk until well incorporated. Next beat the egg into the wet ingredients until well incorporated. Make a well in the dry ingredients bowl and gently mix in the wet ingredients. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Fill each muffin molds or paper mold 3/4 full, place in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with butter and honey.


bunkycooks September 21, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

These are perfect for Autumn. I love all the spices and am sure that your house smelled incredible while they were baking. Prague is a beautiful city. I really enjoyed visiting several years ago.

Torviewtoronto September 21, 2010 at 12:46 PM  

lovely pictures and presentation

Anonymous,  September 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM  

What interesting muffins, they look great!

Stella September 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM  

I want some corn and squash muffins with butter and honey;)! That sounds wonderful, Nancy.
Ooh, and that top photo of the bridge looks like Salamanca a little bit-maybe...?

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron September 21, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

Your photos are so welcoming me to Fall. I've seen lots of squash and beet in a market. Didn't think to add it in muffins. Clever! They look so tasty.

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine September 21, 2010 at 2:04 PM  

gorgeous pictures would love to try these out soon!

Juliana September 21, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

Wow, lovely muffins with the squash...what a great way to celebrate Autumm :-)

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines September 21, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

This is a lovely post! I hope I can travel and see sights like that one day, your lighting behind those muffins just makes them sing. Makes me want one too, I don't think we have those squash here, I'm going to have to find a substitute.

Lauren September 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM  

I have been searching the internet for days trying to find what type of pumpkin / squash I got in my veggie box, and there you go with a picture of it.

Perfect now I _have_ to make these muffins.

Nancy September 21, 2010 at 6:59 PM  

@Bunky, it sure did :)

@Toronto&Raviniemoms&Claudia&Juliana, Thanks:)

@Stella, I'll send some right over:), yeah I think it does look similar. Both look like very old bridges with a castle at the end.

@Tanantha, Thanks :) Oh fresh beets I can't wait to buy some of those too.

@Gina, Oh thank you so much :) It was just the shadow of the light falling from the side window, I just got lucky. Prague is a beautiful city full of so many surprises.

@Lauren, How funny :) I too looked for a couple of days to find the name then finally saw it at the super market. Hope you like them.

Priscilla - She's Cookin' September 21, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

We love the consistency of the weather here in SoCal but seeing the trees turn and the feeling of a cool, crisp autumn breeze is something I truly miss! Squash and corn muffins with a cup of tea sounds so inviting! Your photos are gorgeous! I hope to travel to Prague one day.

Belinda @zomppa September 21, 2010 at 7:36 PM  

Absolutely gorgeous photos. I love the fall and I wish could have a half dozen of these for tomorrow.

Treat and Trick September 21, 2010 at 10:56 PM  

What an amazing pictures! Adding squash is really healthy option, looks perfect and yum..

Unknown September 22, 2010 at 12:46 AM  


Amazing looking muffins...love them...



Monet September 22, 2010 at 1:33 AM  

What a lovely recipe...and such stunning photographs to top it all off! This looks delicious...a wonderful way to celebrate fall!

Sommer September 22, 2010 at 1:35 AM  

I have muffins on my mind for this autumn, too! These look yummy!!!

I feel te same exact way you do about Autumn. The end of summer has been cool, but I am happy about this weather! It's so comfy and brings families closer together. Plus living in Europe, A/C is non-existent!! I LOVE your photos. I hope to visit Prague sometime in the near future!

Debbie September 22, 2010 at 2:50 AM  

What beautiful pics, I am pretty jealous of where you live! Nothing looks like that in TX!

Cherine September 22, 2010 at 3:03 AM  

Lovely muffins and lovely pictures!!

Conor @ Hold the Beef September 22, 2010 at 5:35 AM  

You're lucky to live somewhere that will undergo a beautiful autumn - we tend not to have that here in Perth and when I've experienced it when living overseas it takes my breath away (or is that the cold air?) :)

These muffins and photos pay a lovely homage to autumn.

Miriam September 22, 2010 at 6:45 AM  

Qué bonito!! No sabía que vivieses en Praga, yo estuve una vez y me parece uno de los sitios más preciosos del mundo. Lovely and evocative photos...

Unknown September 22, 2010 at 6:51 AM  

I can almost feel what autumn's like where you are, what with all the leaves falling around your lovely muffins! :-)

Unknown September 22, 2010 at 7:31 AM  

The seasons here in Nor Cal are a bit more subtle especially now as it can be warm here in the fall. Your recipe and photos are really getting me in the mood for cooler fall weather, I would love to bake some squash and corn muffins to make my house smell wonderful. Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos from the muffins to the city everything looks beautiful:)

Simply Life September 22, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

Gorgeous photos - and those muffins look great!

Pura Vida September 22, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

I made these muffins yesterday with Kuri squash I found at the farmers market. This squash has such a nice flavor and is a perfect compliment to the corn flour and all the spices in this recipe. Topped off with honey and butter, these were delicious. Love your blog, recipes and photos. Prague looks absolutely beautiful and I would love to visit one day. I look forward seeing more of your posts!

Claudia September 22, 2010 at 6:48 PM  

You do know how to usher in autumn. The photos shine. The muffins entice. The squash is new to me - but shall have a look - I love international bloggers - I learn and taste so much. The muffins are the perfect way to say, Welcome autumn. I'm glad you're here."

Jillyann September 22, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

I love the pictures Nancy....beautiful city. Your little point and shoot camera looks like it does a pretty nice job. The muffins look so yummy too...golden pumpking muffins! Wonderful. The one thing I miss about living in South Florida is no change of seasons...we have hot, ree-frickin-diculously hot, my face just melted off hot and OMG I'm dying hot!!

Rick September 23, 2010 at 7:37 AM  

Those are insanely amazing! Savory too. Yay for fall!

Heather S-G September 23, 2010 at 10:48 AM  

The kuri is a gorgeous squash, isn't it!? Ah Autumn...my absolute favorite time of the year! Beautiful photos...and the muffins sound cozy, delicious, and totally fall-flavor-packed. :)

fromBAtoParis September 23, 2010 at 4:40 PM  

I didn't know you lived in Prague !! How beautiful !!!! And the muffins really set the autumn mood..Good choice!!

City Share September 23, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

Well, I guess my comment is similar to lots of the others... I didn't realize you lived in Prague either. I visited a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. It was enchanting. I don't think I have ever prepared kuri squash. Thanks for expanding my food horizons once again.

Nancy September 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM  

Thank you all so much for always having such kind words for me, it means a lot :) I am also glad you share the same feelings about Autumn and the beauty that it has. I think I will have to share more Prague photos with those of you that haven't visited.

@Pura Vida, Oh I am thrilled that you tried my recipe and that you enjoyed them. If you took photos send me one and I'll add it to my post to invite everyone to visit you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Anonymous,  September 26, 2010 at 11:53 PM  

Is that Strelecky Island? It's one of my absolute favorite places to go in the fall. I couldn't be missing Autumn in Prague more while it's still 100 degrees in North Carolina, so thanks for sharing your pictures and reminding me of how perfect it is!

Nancy September 27, 2010 at 9:11 AM  

Hi Katie,
Yes it is :) How did you know? Wow it's 100 there, here it's been 9c or 48f. Glad you stopped by.

Karen September 27, 2010 at 6:58 PM  

Your muffins look delicious! I don't think I've ever seen kuri squash around here, but I'm sure it could be substituted. They look like a great Fall brunch dish!

Patty September 29, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

I love your healthy seasonal baking styles - these sound and look wonderful. I've had the kuri squash before - it's really delicious! So good that after I bake some it usually doesn't make it into any baked goods because I eat it all. :)

Nancy September 30, 2010 at 10:08 AM  

@ Karen, thank you! Yes of course just know that kuri squash is a bit drier than other types, so you may need less liquids in your recipe.

@Patty,Thank you, I know mine almost didn't make it to the muffins:) It's so good just roasted.

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