Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quinoa Muffins

I am a creature of habit. Sometimes distressingly so. I tend to follow the same path (give or take a green light or two) when walking to the subway each morning. Every evening when I walk in the door I enjoy a mug of hot Earl Grey tea while catching up on the day's emails. And, for the past two or more months, I've had oatmeal for breakfast just about every workday.

Now, I love oatmeal. It's a nice and hearty breakfast that is both filling, whole grain and healthy. But, sometimes too much of a good thing is still too much. And I reached that point this week. Breakfast had to change.

When I read through food magazines, recipes will often jump out at me but will be put aside until the time is right. This muffin recipe was one such example. I thought it sounded intriguing when I saw it in January. But the mood didn't strike me to make it until this week. These muffins are cool. There's no other way to describe them. Quinoa in muffins - brilliance! The quinoa provides a nutty, chewy texture which is complimented by the sweetness of the brown sugar. And because quinoa contains a lot of protein, one muffin with a swathe of light cream cheese did quite well at keeping the hunger monsters at bay.

Two thumbs up, both as a recipe for an interesting whole grain muffin, and for keeping me from drowning in oatmeal monotony.

Quinoa Muffins
Every Day Food Magazine - January 2008
Makes 12
Prep - 25 minutes
Total time - 1 hour

Every Day Food's notes - Instead of oat or bran muffins, try these moist breakfast treats to fuel your morning. Substitute other chopped dried fruit for the raisins, if you like.

My notes - I baked the muffins in liners sprayed with a quick squirt of PAM because I'm too lazy to do the greasing and flouring step called for in the recipe. And they came out great.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable oil plus more for pan
2 cups all purpose flour (spooned and leveled) plus additional for pan
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender. 11-13 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, brush a standard 12 cup muffin pan with oil, dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins and 2 cups cooked quinoa. Reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.
3.In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
4.Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to five days.

Additional Every Day Food note - Be careful not to overcook the quinoa or to use more then the required amount of water. The grains of quinoa should be tender but separate, rather then mushy and clumped together.


Dori said...

Quinoa is my new favorite food! I am definitely making these this weekend.

Carrie said...

These look really good - I've never had quinoa in baking before...I'll have to try these out.

kickpleat said...

i love quinoa but my husband hates it. i think this could be the recipe that makes him change his mind (or at least fools him into eating it)!

Helios said...

Yay! Quinoa love spreads!

Dori - I checked out your blog. Looks great, I'll definitely be coming back.

Carrie - hope you enjoy the muffins.

Kickpleat - I can't wait to see how the husband quinoa experiment turns out. :)

Sylvie said...

I can't say that Quinoa is one of my favourites, but it's gotta be good in muffins. I'll have to give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration.

kristen said...

I've been looking for a good quinoa recipe, thanks! If you come across any for amaranth, please do share... :)

meg said...

I cut this one out but never made it. You have inspired me. :)

Helios said...

Sylvie - Hope you like the muffins.

Kristen - glad to share. Amaranth is something we'd definitely will be willing to try... stay tuned!

Meg - glad to inspire. Hope you like them!

Ana said...

Yumm! I love quinoa too, gotta try it in the muffins!
Thanks for the recipe, sounds so yummy!
Do you think I could sub some whole wheat flour (either pastry or white ww) for some of the all purpose flour, or that would make the muffins too dense?
Oh, and I found your blog through the CLBB (on a quinoa muffin request thread!)
I am "Aninha" from the boards, nice to talk to you here!!
I also have a blog, take a look there if you would like to see it!