These Butternut Squash Brownies are deliciously gooey, just as brownies should be, but are made ever so slightly more virtuous by the inclusion of a very versatile winter squash. My kids didn’t even know they were eating their vegetables.
Brownies. Just the word is enough to make most people’s eyes light up, and my kids are no exception. This was one recipe they were really looking forward to tasting. So yes, maybe I did conveniently “forget” to tell them that these contain butternut squash – but I wanted to get their honest reaction without tainting it with the V (vegetable) word.
I love butternut squash mainly because of its amazing colour. But add its versatility – it’s great in soups, stews, even smoothies – and the fact that its packed full of fibre, vitamins A and B and a smattering of feel-good minerals, then it’s not hard to see why this vegetable is definitely one to include in the family menu.
I tried this recipe with both fresh and frozen (because I have a feeling I’ll be making this all year round). Both were excellent and I really couldn’t tell the difference. Bear in mind that if you’re using frozen squash, thaw it thoroughly first and then weigh it. I found about 240g of frozen butternut squash gave me about 120g thawed. If you’ve got the time though, it’s great to take advantage of all the beautiful fresh squash available at the moment – it ends up being cheaper in the long run. See Mad About Butternut Squash in our latest Friday Dish for some pointers, and for some great tips and advice we recommend Tori Avey’s fantastic post All About Butternut Squash.
I also swapped out the sugar for maple syrup. With all the media attention on the negative impact of processed sugar, I’m keen to explore other more natural ways of sweetening baked goodies and I’ve found using maple syrup to be a really lovely tasting alternative. This means you won’t be creaming eggs and sugar together like a more traditional brownie recipe – it’s just a matter of stirring the syrup in.
For this recipe I’ve suggested you can use either cocoa powder, drinking chocolate or raw cacao – whatever you have to hand. Cocoa is slightly more bitter than drinking chocolate so you might want to increase the amount of maple syrup you use. I’ve found raw cacao to be somewhere in between cocoa and drinking chocolate sweet/bitter-wise.
These brownies are about as easy as it gets, no particular baking skills are needed. The result is a lovely, gooey brownie packed full of flavour and a little bit of goodness.
Kids rating? Not surprising a 10/10.
Makes approx 12 brownies
- 120g butternut squash, pureed
- 4-5 Tbsp Maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 80g plain flour
- 50g cocoa, drinking chocolate or raw cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 100g chocolate chips (milk or dark)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
- Grease an 8 inch square baking dish or pan with the butter.
- Combine the butternut squash, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla essence in a bowl and mix well.
- Sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder and cinnamon together in a bowl.
- Add the flour mix to the butternut squash and mix well.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan and pop in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
- The brownies are done when a wooden skewer comes out clean.
- Turn onto a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting into squares.
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