Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Butternut Cake

Whoops! Meant to take a picture before I sliced it up to give away. Too late - here it is all sliced.

We've been trying to introduce solid foods to Finley. I'm not sure what her deal is but its not going so well. She pretty much screams, shakes and gags like we're trying to poison her. At this rate I'm going to have to go to her kindergarten class every day to feed her since she'll likely still only be taking in milk. We've tried rice cereal, oats cereal, bananas, sweet potatoes and now butternut squash.

I've been making my own baby food with this fancy contraption and its super easy and actually tasty. But since she eats approximately 1 Tbsp a day (and by "eats" I mean spits back out) I obviously end up with left over produce. So I decided I needed to find a recipe to use up the extra butternut squash this weekend.

I found this recipe for butternut squash cake on Fine Cooking. It looked delicious! AND I knew I could make a couple healthy changes. As listed, this recipe provides per serving:

368 calories
13.6 g fat
58.9 g carbohydrate
1.5 g fiber
4.0 g protein

I simply substituted applesauce for the oil and just omitted the frosting recipe completely. I'm sure its really good with the frosting but to be honest, I didn't know what I was missing so I thought it was delicious even without it! In addition to those healthy changes, there are many healthy benefits to eating butternut squash. It is high in potassium which helps with bone and heart health. It is also a good source of vitamin B6 which can improve both the nervous system and immune system. Like most orange fruits/vegetables, it is high in beta-carotene which can help with eye health. AND a 1 cup serving of butternut squash provides almost half a day's vitamin C. (Although I'm pretty sure there's not a whole cup in each slice of cake... but its got to have some, right???)

So, if you're going to have cake, you might as well make it benefit you somehow ;)

Butternut Cake - BETTER

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulate sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 1/4 cups peeled and grated butternut squash

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan; tap out excess flour.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixxer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the applesauce and beat until combine, about 15 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well on low speed. Add the vinegar and vanilla and mix again until just combined. Add half of the flour and the baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg, mixing on low speed until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk.

Stir the squash into the batter and transfer the batter to the prepared pan; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes; then carefully invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan. When cake is completely cool, transfer it to a serving plate.

Makes 16 generous portions. Per serving:
237 calories
6.7 g fat
41.1 g carbohydrate
1.6 g fiber
3.9 g protein

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