Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quinoa Muffins

A few months ago I picked up a box of quinoa. I didn’t know what it was or what I was going to do with it, but I’d been hearing a lot about it and figured I needed to get some. I found a lot of recipes for salad-type dishes that involved quinoa, and they all looked delicious, but I wanted to do something a little different. Then I got an issue of Everyday Food that included a recipe for quinoa muffins, and I knew where my new purchase was going to go.

In case you don’t know, quinoa is often used much like a grain, but these little guys are actually edible seeds. They naturally have a bitter-tasting coating and often come pre-rinsed. My box was labeled “pre-rinsed” but, since the recipe calls for a rinsing, I did it again anyway. The seeds are so small that they fell right through my strainer, so I soaked them in a bowl of water and then fished them out with my hands. If you have some cheesecloth handy, you’ll be in better shape than I was.

The rest of the recipe is really easy. It calls for oil instead of butter, which I love. I hate creaming butter. I'm too lazy to get out my mixer and I never remember to take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time. I’m very demanding and when I want a muffin, I want it now. Not 3 hours from now when the butter is soft.

So anyway, I’m really glad I found the recipe for these muffins. I love the bumpy textured top that the quinoa gives the muffins, and they’re really nice and moist inside. They are, however, a tad on the plain side. Next time I think I’ll play around with some spices, maybe cinnamon or nutmeg, but for now, some strawberry preserves will do just fine.

Quinoa Muffins
From Everyday Food
makes 12 muffins

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, 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

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.

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.

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.

Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.


Parker said...

These look like they have nice texture. As for the flavor I often find muffin recipes could always use a bit more spices, I bet cinnamon would do the trick.

noble pig said...

What a cool recipe! This is a great healthy muffin!

RecipeGirl said...

I'm happy to see that you tried these. They've been in my muffin to-try pile for a long time now. I think I'll try them with a little added spice as you mentioned!

Grace said...

i'm obsessed with quinoa. i've had it in all kinds of ways, but never baked in a muffin. i'm definitely hooked, and i'd absolutely include cinnamon! :)

Ask Rosezilla said...

Mmmm....we just made these and they turned out so good.

Fyi, we've banished vegetable oil from the house, so we used a mix of butter and coconut oil and they came out awesome!

~Madeline~ said...

These look fantastic! I love the idea of using quinoa since it's so good for you and full of protein. These would be a perfect way to start off the day or as a snack. I can't wait to try them.

Kevin said...

Those muffins look good! I have been wanting to try baking with quinoa for a while now.

toontz said...

I think I had better pull out that package of quinoa stashed in the pantry...mmmmm!

Lore said...

Thank you for introducing me to quinoa muffins. That's a clever add in a muffin. Judging form the title I actually thought these would be savoury muffins but after seing these pictures I'm not at all disappointed, on the contrary :)

Daziano said...

Wow, everybody is using quinoa... and I've never tried it! Those muffins look great!!!

kristina said...

Ah, so this is what I can do with the mysterious box of quinoa that has been in my cabinet! And conveniently I also have strawberry preserves in my fridge! Yes!

Deborah said...

What gorgeous muffins! I think I have all of the ingredients for this at home!

CEW said...

I made these on Sunday thanks to you! I had been planning on making them for a couple of weeks, but you inspired me to get up and do it. I enjoyed their bland flavor, but I substituted dried cranberries, which I prefer to raisins on all levels. I think that the dried cranberries changed the flavor quite a bit. Everyone in my office loved them--they were gone before noon.

Elle said...

I'll bet some orange zest would add some nice flavor, too. These look delicious!

Jenny said...

I made these back in February and LOVED them. The muffins were really delicious and had great texture.

Your blog photography is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I just happened to stumble upon your blog when I was googling for a Quinoa muffin recipe. I've made these, from the SAME recipe. I think they're just AWESOME! I actually split the 2 cups of All Purpose flour into one cup of Whole wheat flour, and 1/2 a cup of all purpose flour and 1/2 a cup of ground flaxseed. You know, for an added health benefit (as if these babies needed them). I also added 1/2 a cup more of the dried fruit. I used a mix of raisins and cranberries. It just added a bit more sweetness in every bite. I'll be making these again, and again, and again. My husband loves them! I'll be adding some goji berries I picked up. Hello, superfood!

Anonymous said...

Great muffins...I used applesauce instead of oil, rice milk for milk and stevia for sugar and they turned out great.

George's Cuisine said...

I used wholemeal flour and hi-lo milk and it worked a treat. Best healthy muffins. I'll be making more of these. Really good recipe.