So, today is the spring equinox. Science! Magic! Whatever you want to call it! Time to reflect back and move forward into new possibilities and regenerative times.
I would really like to make an effort to draw in more seasonal awareness in relationship to foods, health, and cooking in my home space. Like, for instance, an exciting spring project is to plan what to plant in the community garden plot or back yard. Or, to start putting away the wintry things, clear out the dust bunnies, maybe finally unpack from the move in July (whoops). Yes, to eat seasonally as much as possible, but to also have objects, spaces, and colors that signify seasonal change and transition. It seems especially important, since I live in a large, mostly gray, city. Tell me, do you do those things and if so, what is it you're up to?
So, I've had these little squash babies (as we like to call them) that I got back in the fall when apple picking. They were totally forgotten and remembered and forgotten again. It’s been nice to have them sitting all cute-like on the windowsill in the kitchen these past few months, but it’s time. Sorry, babies. The little one ended up being too bitter to use but the large one was delicious. It produced about 2-ish cups, cooked.
This week I’m trying really hard to do a “no books, no blogs food challenge,” meaning: trying to use what I have on hand as creatively as possible (to cook amazing and delicious things). I love recipes and food blogs, and have learned so much about cooking from them, but I’m trying to start this spring with a little experimental kitchen behavior…
The recipe I’m going to share with you today is for “Spiced Squash Capcakes.” It’s a recipe I wrote up in 2009 when I first started dating my sweetie and I was still vegan. Inspiration for this creation should totally be credited to the amazing, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, of “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”. So, they are mostly vegan, but be aware, I added marshmallows (which could be subbed easily for Dandies/I would prefer that more, actually) and Nutella (which could be subbed easily with a vegan Nutella situation, a frosting, peanut butter? or some other delicious sweet spready situation). Or, just go for a pure naked cake, if you’re into simplicity. Why did I add marshmallows/why are they even in the house? A post on that later.
So, these yummy cakes are called “capcakes” instead of cupcakes, because, well, when I first made these, there was a very large squash baby, and after it was cooked, and hollowed out, I decided it would be HILARIOUS to stick the squash skin shell as a “cap” on the head of my sweetie’s roommate. (She took my spontaneity pretty well…even though we had just met) Anyhow, capcakes it is.
I definitely suggest making hats out of squash skins if you have a big ol’ baby! You should probably take a picture and send it to me.
Spiced Squash Capcakes; Makes 12 capcakes
1 cup Cooked Squash
1 cup Soy Milk (Or whatever, mother’s milk you prefer)
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup Craisins
½ cup Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease or put muffin liners in cupcake pan.
Mix squash, milk, vanilla and apple cider vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Mix the spices, baking powder and soda, flour and salt together and then add the wet ingredients. Once you have a good consistency and not too many lumps mix in the craisins and chips.
Scoop out the batter (grease the spoon/cup for easier transfers - a very lovely Isa tip. Did I tell you how amazing she is?) into the pan, filling each cup about halfway, plop in a marshmallow, and then cover with more batter. Put more marshmallows on top if you want or leave hidden as a surprise! (be aware that they might pop out the top if there isn't enough batter on top of 'em)
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool on wire rack and then slather some Nutella on that cap!
And, let's be real, anything with Nutella is downright delicious.
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