Blue Poppy (if you click here it will take you to her Hubbard squash post). Go visit it one day if you have a moment to spare - it's just lovely.
Back to the squash, though - you read that third sentence correctly. I smashed that bad boy. I'd never bought a Hubbard before, so I had to go online for help dealing with such a thing. Turns out they have a very hard rind. It practically repels knife blades, it seems. One site recommended wrapping the whole kit and kaboodle in a plastic bag and smashing it on the floor.
So I did that. In the front driveway. On a Sunday afternoon while the neighbors were washing their car.
The damned thing BOUNCED on the first try.
The second attempt was all good, though. I stood on my husband's shop chair and flung it like a shotput. It was cracked neatly in two when I opened the
(The neighbors are probably still puzzling that escapade. It is entirely too easy to be a colorful eccentric around here, I tell ya).
My Hubbard was wonderfully orange inside, with a nice firm flesh that still managed to be moist. I skipped inside to seed and quickly roast one half, and to seed and deeply bake the other. In the end I had about two cups of cubed orange squash and two cups of wonderfully thick puree. The same smashy website had mentioned that Hubbard squash is often the deep, dark secret ingredient in all those cans of supermarket pumpkin puree. Which meant my bounty had but one destination:
Since I'm on this darned diabetic diet now, though, they'd have to be healthy ones. Low in refined sugar, fat, and as low-carb as humanly possible (diabetic eating plans tend to look like the Atkins diet, minus the meat and fat obsession and with more vegetables). Luckily, Heidi Swanson and Maki were there to save my sorry tail. A few years back101 Cookbooks featured a gorgeous cottage cheese muffin made primarily with almond meal. Nuts are low carb; flour is not. This principal, combined with Heidi's new adapted recipe for Pumpkin Feta Muffins, would surely make for a fine snack. I also cribbed a few tips from Maki's recent low-carb muffin experiments over at Just Bento (she's also fighting the elevated blood-sugar goblins, God lover her).
The results were pretty swell over all. Almond meal baking, from my experience, lends a different texture to baked goods than regular flour. Maki points out that nuts do not absorb moisture the way grains do, which leads to a potentially wet result. The savory muffins weren't wet, but they did have a soft and grainy element to them. Which wasn't bad at all. In fact, I had a hard time eating just one.
If you'd like to give the savory muffins my way a try, here's what I did:
Pumpkin Feta Muffins, the Lower-Carb Variation:
1. Go get the master recipe at 101 Cookbooks: Pumpkin Feta Muffins
2. Make the following adjustments to the recipe:
A. I used some steamed mustard greens in place of the spinach for expediency, not flavor. But it did turn out well all the same..
B. Replace the parmesan cheese with 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast.
C. Use marinated feta-style tofu in place of the feta cheese (I used the one from "The Uncheese Cookbook." I'll try this next time).
D. Replace the 2 cups of conventional flour with 1 1/2 cups of almond meal/flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour.
E. Reduce the milk to 1/2 cup, and use soy milk.
F. I left the eggs as were because I wanted the richness, but for vegans I bet you could do the old tofu or flax meal switcheroo with no problem.
3. When you bake them, don't look for a completely clean tester. The insides will be a little gooey no matter how long you bake them. I pulled mine after 20 minutes; the tops and sides were browned and they were nice and bouncy-compact in their tins.
Nutrition facts for my recipe: Calories 150, Fat 10g (mostly mono- and polyunsaturated), Sodium 224.7mg, Cholesterol 35.2mg, Carbohydrates 10g (including 3g of fiber and 1.1g of sugars), and Protein 7g.
Many thanks again to Heidi and Maki for their great ideas. Next up: sweet muffins from that Hubbard squash puree!