Butternut-Cherry Tea Bread

Butternut squash are generally larger than 1-1/4 pounds, so you can either cut off a chunk of a squash, or roast the whole squash and use only 1-1/4 cups of the roasted squash in the bread. Serve any leftover squash as a vegetable side dish, or use it in place of pumpkin puree in a recipe. The pumpkin pie spice blend called for below is intended to be a convenience, but if you don’t have any, you can simply substitute 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon each allspice and cloves.

1 piece butternut squash (1-1/4 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup water
1-3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons extra-light olive oil
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins

1 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash, cut-sides down, in a small baking pan. Add the water, cover, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. When cool enough to handle, scoop the squash flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork. Measure out 1-1/4 cups (save any remainder for another use).
2 In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3 In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add the whole egg and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the 1-1/4 cups mashed squash and the buttermilk. Fold in the flour mixture. Fold in the cherries.
4 Spray an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 slices

Makes 12 slices servings.
Per slice: 177 calories, 4.1g total fat (0.7g saturated), 18mg cholesterol, 2g dietary fiber, 32g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 220mg sodium.