If you have never heard of or cooked with quinoa, you are in for a real treat with this delicious apple-quinoa muffin recipe.
Quinoa, pronounced (keen-wah), is widely thought of to be a grain, but it is actually a seed. Quinoa was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America as one of just a few crops the ancient Incas cultivated at such high altitude. The name quinoa comes from the Incan word for “mother grain.” Boasting all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is a complete protein food. Plus, it has the highest protein content of any grain, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. And it’s also gluten free, so it’s the ideal ingredient to incorporate into your gluten free lifestyle.
As a side note, one cup of cooked quinoa has 6 grams of protein!
So considering that quinoa is seed, you may not think that combining it with any type of sweet treat would be a very tasty combination. In fact, quinoa has a mild taste that lends itself very well to virtually any use. Muffins are no exception.
This recipe for apple quinoa muffins has the perfect blend of sweetness and nutrition. The muffins come together quickly and bake up nice and golden.
These delicious breakfast staples make an irresistible snack, not just for breakfast, but for anytime.
2 whole medium sweet apples, cored and grated, with or without skin (about 2 cups UNpacked grated apple)
2/3 cup coconut sugar (or use brown sugar)
1/3 cup sunflower or other light-tasting oil
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup raisins or goji berries
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder (or use cinnamon)
1 Tbsp whole psyllium husks
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (not instant or quick-cook)
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line 10 muffin tins with paper or silicone liners, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the apples, coconut sugar, oil, quinoa, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, pecans, raisins and flax seeds. Allow the coconut sugar to begin to dissolve.
- With a hand held sifter, sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 5-Spice powder or cinnamon directly into the bowl with the wet mixture.
- Add the psyllium husks and oats and stir everything together. Mix it just until it’s combined.
- Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup measuring cup and pour the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Fill each one quite full (they will not rise any more while baking, so make the tops as high as you can). Note: The batter may seem like it’s not been mixed enough or it’s falling apart – not to worry; it will come together nicely as it bakes.
- Place the filled muffin pan in your preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, rotate the pans around to ensure they bake evenly. At 30 minutes, do the toothpick test to check if they are done – insert a toothpick into the center muffin, if it comes out clean, they are done. If not, give them a few more minutes.
- Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before eating (the muffins will be more fragile while warm, but will hold together fine once cool). Makes 10 muffins.
These muffins freeze very well, but they may not be around long enough to make it actually into your freezer!
Love quinoa? Here’s another you might like Gluten Free Quinoa English Muffins