Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mini Squash Oatmeal Ginger Bites

What to do with leftover squash or pumpkin? The burning question of the day. I know some people add it to smoothies or add it to soup or stew or whatever you’re making for dinner. I would even sneak it into spaghetti sauce. Another idea is to take the leftover squash and make little snacks.

Infinitely adaptable squash oatmeal ginger balls.

I’m surprised that I have any leftover squash, but somehow, my garden plot at the Hali’imaile Community Garden turned out to be unexpectedly productive when I was actively ignoring it during April (A to Z Challenge) and most of May (recovering from A to Z Challenge).

I had actually given up on the squash or Kabocha pumpkin or whatever it was… three mystery vines from butternut squash and Kabocha pumpkin seeds from friends.

I learned from Evan Ryan’s seed talk this spring that squash is a slutty kind of plant and will interbreed with any other squash or pumpkin in the neighborhood, so the seeds produced plants that were not true to the parent!  Meaning, if I got the seeds from a Kabocha, that doesn’t mean the plants will make Kabocha pumpkins. They’ll make squash, but they won’t look like mom.

The things one learns while gardening. I also discovered that when one pulls up squash because one has given up completely on it, and then forgets it for a few weeks, the squash will try to make a comeback. It did, with shocking success. I gave up on it because the vines were not producing anything, just teeny little squashes that were turning yellow and falling off.

Somewhere, there's a garden under here. 

The soil test revealed that my garden plot was severely lacking in phosphorus, the P symbol of NPK in fertilizer labels. My friend Lehua reminded me that phosphorus is needed to grow nice big roots (think carrots, turnips, beets) and big vegetables and fruits. 

This is one example of a deficiency in phosphorus: the baby veggies turn yellow and fall off. As they say, "The fruit doesn't set."

This is what a box of organic bone meal looks like.
I bought this at Kula Hardware.

After pulling up unproductive squash vines, dumping a nice big box of organic bone meal (high in phosphorus and according to some farmers, much better than using rock phosphate for Hawaii soils), lots of compost, and spreading it around my plot, I came back to discover the vines had returned and was making very nice squashes. These squashes also tasted much better than the ones I grew before the application of bone meal. 

Squash which was produced after the bone meal application.

Mini Squash or Pumpkin Oat Ginger Bites
A good way to use up leftover squash!

1/3 to ½ cup of squash or pumpkin
1 Tbsp of candied ginger, chopped
¼ cup of shredded coconut
1/3 to ½ cup of rolled oats
Handful of almonds or other nuts, chopped
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Sweetener if you have a sweet tooth: 1 Tbsp of agave syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, or whatever you have. More if you need it.

Mix ingredients together. Roll into balls. Place on oiled baking pan or parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees until they are golden brown on top. I made this without any sweetener, just the candied ginger, but I would include a little sweetener next time. 

If you have a toaster oven or other small oven, then you’re not wasting all this electricity baking a small amount. But if you only have a large oven, then I suggest baking this with something else. Makes 6 small balls.

This recipe is highly adaptable. Double it or triple it. Skip the coconut if you don’t like it. Add more ginger or skip it. There’s no baking powder or baking soda, so you can’t over mix it. It can be made gluten free IF you use gluten free oats.  It's sugar-free, but you could use sugar too. It is somewhat inspired by a no bake pumpkin oatmeal cookie from Snack-Girl and a Martha Stewart squash oatmeal bar recipe that I misplaced, or I’d include the link. Enjoy!

Hali'imaile Community Garden is producing a cook book, so it's my excuse to make up more recipes for them. 

1 comment:

  1. I shred squash and add it to meatloaf to make it more moist. I mix it with the seasonings, onion, green pepper, oatmeal and eggs.


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