Quinoa Muffins

The January/February 2008 issue of Everyday Food has a special section on quinoa, which is an ingredient with which I have zero experience. For those who don’t know, quinoa is “an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked” (whfoods.com). It looks a lot like couscous. I was able to find it in the bulk/”health food” section at Kroger, which was nice because I was able to take only the $0.88 worth that I actually needed for the Quinoa Muffins recipe.

First, I had to cook the quinoa. I rinsed 1 cup of raw quinoa and combined that with 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan. I brought that to a boil, reduced the heat to a simmer, covered the saucepan, and cooked the quinoa until it was tender and all water had been absorbed (12 minutes).

Meanwhile, I prepped my muffin pan. I decided to use my silicone muffin pan for this recipe since it releases food so nicely. I still followed the prep instructions in the recipe, though; I brushed the pan with vegetable oil, dusted it with flour, and then tapped out any excess.

Next, I combined my dry ingredients in a large bowl. I whisked together 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of packed dark-brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 cup of dried cherries (the recipe called for raisins). The quinoa had finished cooking at this point, so I whisked in 2 cups of that as well.

In a separate smaller bowl, I whisked together 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 3/4 cup of whole milk, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I stirred the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined and then divided the batter among the muffin cups.

I put my silicone pan on a rimmed baking sheet (for stability) and baked the muffins for 26 minutes at 350 F, rotating my pan front to back at the 13-minute mark. I cooled the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes and then finished cooling them on a wire rack.


These muffins were dense and so, so delicious. I could absolutely see them as a brunch side at a restaurant. I don’t know if I would have liked them as much with raisins, but the dried cherries were fabulous and they really complemented the muffins’ strong vanilla flavor. I can’t wait to make these again!

TIPS: Don’t skip the rinse step with the quinoa. I guess it has a bitter coating that washes off with water. Who likes bitter muffins?

Also, make sure you actually measure out 2 cups of cooked quinoa rather than just dumping the entire cooked amount in. You’ll probably have more than you need.

Recipe link: Quinoa Muffins


2 Responses to “Quinoa Muffins”

  1. 1 leslieann February 11, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Quinoa is one of the best foods I discovered after going gluten-free! I love the little curlicue things that form bands around the grain and separate when cooked, and it’s tasty stuff. It’s also a complete protein, which should be of interest to vegetarians, particularly. For the record, I think most quinoa available here doesn’t actually need to be rinsed — they do that in the processing, and if you don’t rinse it, your stuff won’t be bitter (I actually didn’t know the bit about rinsing until I’d been eating it for a while, and never had bitterness issues). But some people say the bitter resin, saponin, can still be present on the grains, and rinsing is good. I put it in chili, use it in place of rice, and make a nice cold salad with quinoa, cilantro, lime and whatever else I feel like. Mmmm… Glad you discovered it!

  2. 2 Emily September 25, 2009 at 3:49 am

    I can’t wait to try these!!! I live in Peru, where quinoa abounds, so I’m always looking for new ways to use it! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

The Daring Kitchen

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 563 other followers

I want to cook…



%d bloggers like this: