Friday, May 24, 2013

Quinoa Applesauce Muffins




Since I work full-time, I often have breakfast on the go. My go-to breakfasts are usually bagel and cream cheese, with a tomato, a pastry, or some sort of muffin. Buying a muffin or pastry every day can be unhealthy, not to mention expensive. You never know what ingredients they use. This is especially important if you have dietary restrictions. As an example, for a while, I was watching my cholesterol, potassium, and phosphorus. A daily dose of store-bought muffins can create havoc in one’s diet.

So starting last year, I decided to experiment on making muffins. I’ve had a number of successes last year mostly experimenting on different flavors, reducing sugar and fat, and using rice flour. This year, I wanted to experiment with using different flours or grains. Since I still have quinoa, I thought this would be a great time to try quinoa muffins.

I made applesauce muffins before, but using regular flour or rice flour (a gluten-free option). I’ve made it so many times that I have made a low fat version. (which can be easily converted to non-fat if you really want to).

Note to self: Blog post on Basic Applesauce Muffins! That is also a good recipe.

I am not sure exactly what proportion to use with quinoa, but most recipes recommend about 2 parts flour to 1 part quinoa ratio. As I prepared the batter, I found that a 1:1 ratio is better (maybe because the quinoa is a bit mushy).


Mad Gourmet's Quinoa Applesauce Muffins


Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation
  •  Cook about 1/3 c of quinoa per package directions. I usually just cook a cup and leave the rest for later use (pancakes or side dish).
  •  Melt the butter on stovetop for mixing (You can do this while you are prepping your dry ingredients; If I am having burgers for lunch, I save the pan to cook the burger for that yummy buttery flavor).


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin tin.
  2. Sift together the flour, quinoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, applesauce and eggs.
  4. Beat wet ingredients in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
  5. Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  6. Scoop into muffin cups.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, Test to see if a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.

Verdict

I really enjoyed these muffins. The quinoa added a great texture and a protein boost.  I did expect a crunchier consistency, but maybe next time, I’ll toast the quinoa first.



I think for next time, I would use some baking powder to give it a bit of a rise.

Also, I wish I read this article from lunchboxbunch.com on how to cook fluffy quinoa before I got started.

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