Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quinoa Muffins!

The best part about being fun-employed is that I get to enjoy the fun of baking.  And boy, do I love to bake (and eat my product!).  I've been really into quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) as of late--and it turns out its kind of a "trendy" food right now (or at least I've been hearing a lot about it, but maybe its selective observation?).  It's sort of like rice (at least you make it the same way), but it has more of a nutty flavor to it--it's nice to mix it up every once and awhile, and it's also chalk full of good things for you.  Woo!  It turns out quinoa is very versatile and can be used in everything from black bean burger patties (dee-lish!) to baked goods!  So I thought I would give it a whirl!  I called upon good ol' Martha for some help (here's the link):


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more 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 water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 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 toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook's Note

Be careful not to overcook the quinoa or to use more than the required amount of water. The grains of quinoa should be tender but separate, rather than mushy and clumped together.

Of course I HAD to make this recipe my own though-Martha just gave me the jumping off point.  I cut out the raisins (not a fan), and I wanted CHOCOLATE in my muffins!  I made the mistake, which actually turned out to be awesome, of adding chocolate chips when the quinoa was still hot.  Of course, it melted all together, making chocolate muffins instead of non-chocolate muffins with chocolate chips in them.  I also didn't have vanilla, so I replaced it with almond extract--so I got a DELICIOUS chocolate almond flavor.  My poor mom better get one before they're gone! :)

It turns out there are TONS of variations of quinoa muffins as you can only imagine, including lots of vegan varieties if you are interested in that (this chocolate avocado one looked particularly dee-lish).

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