Like the rest of the world, I have become aware of the super-grain quinoa and have been trying to implement it into my family’s diet. Quinoa is an ancient grain used thousands of years ago by the Incas in what is now South America. It is high in several nutrients, high in fiber and is also a complete protein. It is used as a grain, but is actually a seed. Read more about quinoa here. It seems this tiny seed has taken the health food world by storm in the past couple years and it is becoming easier to find for purchase. I get mine at a bulk foods store, but have also ordered it from Vitacost.
Quinoa must be rinsed prior to cooking to remove a bitter outer coating, but once cooked swells to 3 or 4 times its original size. It is often used in place of rice or other grains. It is also gluten free which makes it a great option for those who can’t have wheat.
Aren’t these gorgeous?
I am always looking for good muffin recipes. I like a hearty muffin, not full of white flour and fluff, but with some substance that will fill me up a little. I’m kind of picky about my muffins, I hate when they get mushy the next day or don’t hold up well for a day or two. Enter the quinoa muffin! I stumbled on this recipe because I was looking for a muffin with quinoa as a good snack for my boys. After I made them the first time, I decided that this was the new muffin of the Chaos Household. These can be adapted for any flavor or combination in my opinion. I’ve already made Apple Walnut, Strawberry Pecan, and Blueberry. The Apple Walnut variety are even better the second day. These could be made gluten free by using quinoa flour. They are not overly sweet, so if your family likes things more sweet, just increase the brown sugar by a spoonful or two. To make baking these easier, I cook up a big batch of quinoa on the stove and then freeze it in freezer bags in 1 cup amounts. I lay the bags flat in the freezer and then when it’s time for one to thaw, it happens quickly.
I hope you’ll give these a try. If you’ve been looking for a healthy snack, these are perfect. If you’ve heard of quinoa but weren’t quite sure how to start eating it, this is a delicious way to begin. Your family won’t even know there is anything different in these :).
Apple Walnut Quinoa Muffins
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
(for these apple muffins, I add a couple shakes of ground cloves)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup milk
1 cup chopped apples (or other fruit)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nut)
coarse sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cup tins. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in cooked quinoa.
In seperate bowl combine coconut oil, egg and milk. Mix into the dry ingredients. Fold in the apples and walnuts, batter will be thick. Evenly divide the batter among the 12 muffin tins. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops will be firm to touch. Let cool in muffin pan for about 10 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack. These also freeze well. I store them in a plastic container, but I don’t totally tighten the lid, this prevents them from getting too moist.
Adapted from Lemons and Anchovies.