1.5 cups butternut squash puree, about 2 cups cubes (1 medium squash)
¼ cup maple syrup
½ vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ pecans pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Carefully peel, de-seed, and chop a butternut squash into cubes. I know there are other ways to cook a squash – roasting whole or boiling – but cubing and roasting allows the squash to develop some browning and caramelizing the natural sugars, which results in so much flavor. Don’t skip this step – it’s worth the extra time.
Cube squash and toss in a bit of olive oil. Spread evenly on a sheet pan and roast for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once squash has roasted and browned, remove from oven and allow to cool for a bit. You can also pre-cook the squash the day before you are baking, if needed. Transfer two cups of roasted squash cubes to a food processor or blender.
Blend until pureed and smooth, then add the rest of the wet ingredients – maple syrup, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla. Pulse the machine to blend and combine, and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and spices. Then add the wet to the dry, and mix until just combined. Pour batter into a greased 8x4 loaf pan.
Sprinkle a handful of extra pepitas and pecans on top of the batter.
Bake at 350 for 55 minutes – the top should be golden and starting to crack, check for total doneness with a wooden toothpick
Let the bake season begun and enjoy the autumn aromas!
Chef Martin Lopez