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.
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.