Seasonally on point, Charles' clever take on biscuits features a hearty serving of roasted butternut squash, which she refers to as “nature’s candy.” Feel free to use canned butternut squash puree, or make it from scratch. "I like to cube butternut squash, toss it in coconut oil and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, flipping once until squash is softened and caramelized," shares Charles. "Then I blend in a blender or food processor. Ensure your mash is completely cooled before using in this recipe so that it doesn’t melt the coconut oil in the dough." Charles also uses coconut oil instead of butter to create a super soft and flaky consistency.
To top off the freshly baked biscuits, Charles suggests adding a schmear of more coconut oil and a drizzle of honey for the perfect combination. "I [also] love these as breakfast sandwiches. Try them with bacon or turkey bacon and spinach. You can enjoy these with anything else you might typically eat bread with," she adds. Charles also recommends serving them alongside soups, chilis, or even using them as a bun for a plant-based burger.
Made with under ten ingredients, this butternut squash biscuits recipe is as nutrient-rich as it is delicious and simple to bake. “The antioxidants found in butternut squash—and other orange, red, and yellow veggies—have been shown to help protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation,” Eliza Savage, RD, previously told Well+Good. “And because of its concentration of carotenoids, it may reduce risk of certain cancers, particularly lung cancer. One cup of butternut squash cubes [also] provides more potassium than a medium banana. Potassium is critical in the body to [help] regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals."
Ready to get baking? Check out the full recipe below.
Butternut squash biscuits recipe
1/4 cup coconut oil, frozen
1 cup cassava flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp gelatin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup roasted butternut squash puree (ensure it’s not warm)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, chilled
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Gentle reminder: Before you begin, ensure that your coconut oil is completely frozen. Charles measures 1/4 cup coconut oil and places it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes until it’s solid.
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Place frozen coconut oil into a food processor and pulse until it has broken down into pea-sized pieces.
3. In a large bowl, add cassava flour, tapioca starch, gelatin, sea salt, baking soda, and roasted butternut squash puree. Add pea-sized pieces of frozen coconut oil to the mixture and use a fork or pastry cutter to cut the oil into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.
4. Add cold coconut milk and apple cider vinegar to the mixture and use a fork or pastry cutter, and then your hands to bind all the ingredients together into a stiff dough. This might take a while so keep at it, but you don’t want to over-knead and melt all the oil—the goal is to bring the dough together, but you want to keep those clumps of coconut oil intact.
5. Place dough on a piece of parchment paper and press into a disc about one-inch in thickness. Do not make your biscuits thinner than this as the biscuits do not rise much in the oven and this is where most of the height comes from.
6. Using a two-inch biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass, cut six to seven biscuits out of your dough. As you are cutting each biscuit, refrain from twisting the cutter/glass to avoid sealing the edges. Transfer parchment paper to a baking sheet and bake for 13 minutes in the middle rack of your oven. Allow biscuits to cool for ten minutes for the gelatin to set before cutting them.
Tips for baking Charles' butternut squash biscuits recipe
A few helpful tips to keep in mind as you bake: Charles recommends placing an ice cube in the coconut milk for a minute or two so that it’s really cold before adding to the mixture. She also warns to be careful not to over-process the dough, or else the oil will begin to soften and clump together. Ideally, she notes, the coconut oil pieces should be about pea-sized.
Next, if you follow a vegan diet, it's important to note that these biscuits do contain gelatin. “I haven’t had success omitting the gelatin here as it’s crucial not only to bind the ingredients but to help the dough fluff up a bit," says Charles. "Applesauce didn’t work in the same way, and it made the biscuits too sweet. I’m hesitant to suggest a flax egg because the dough might be too wet." No big—if you avoid animal foods including gelatin, try one of these delicious vegan desserts instead.
Lastly, before enjoying the tasty biscuits, she recommends waiting for at least ten minutes for them to cool and set before eating. "These are best eaten fresh, however, [they] can be stored in a sealed container on the countertop for up to three days," Charles says. "They will harden, so should be toasted or reheated before serving."
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