The farmers markets and grocery stores are full of delicious fall produce, so I thought I'd share a recipe for a healthy, kid-friendly snack using one of my favorites: the butternut squash. These mini muffins are moist, delicious, and perfect for babies and toddlers. The squash, apple, and whole wheat flour make them a good alternative to processed treats. Here's the recipe:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

¼ tsp allspice

A pinch of salt

4 Tbsp butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

1 medium apple, shredded

1 cup baked butternut squash, mashed

Topping: 2 Tbsp melted butter
               ½ c white sugar
               1 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and cut the squash lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds, brush with a little vegetable oil, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for an hour, or until it is very tender when poked with a fork. Let the squash cool until you can comfortably handle it, then scoop out the flesh and mash it. You can use the rest for soup, or freeze it to use another time.

Set the oven temperature for 350 degrees, and prepare your muffin pans. I made 12 mini and 12 medium muffins with this recipe, so it would probably make 36 minis or 18 medium. Whichever pans you use, line them with paper liners or grease and flour the cups.

For the muffin batter, start by mixing the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and in another, beat the softened butter until light and fluffy, and then mix in the brown sugar. Add the eggs, mix to combine, then add the butternut squash and shredded apple. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until well combined.

Scoop the batter into muffin tins, and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on which size you’re making. They’re done when they’re light golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Melt 2 Tbsp butter, and mix the sugar and cinnamon together. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, dip the tops in the butter, then in the cinnamon sugar. And they’re ready to enjoy! They're great for breakfast, snacks, lunches, or anytime a kid needs just a little something healthy.

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