Thursday, April 7, 2011

Whole Wheat Quinoa Muffins

Photo by Rachel Dedrickson
I ordered a drink. An Americano I think. It was Saturday morning. I was in my comfy cotton knit pants, and an oversized WSU sweatshirt with fluffy Ugg boots – no makeup. My guard was definitely down.

And then it happened.

The pastry case giggled and gleamed at me, and a raspberry scone batted an eye. I was done for.

Was it delicious? Couldn't tell ya. I must have eaten the entire thing while waiting for the barista to call out my drink. The butter-filled triangle was demolished in minutes. Crumbs in the brown paper bag. Did you hear me? Kaput!

I can’t help it. I like adore baked goods. You see, while I've been scouring my favorite food blogs for savory dinner recipes, a baking wish list has appeared in my notebook instead. Lemon scones, red velvet cakes, banana creme pie, almond joy cookies, and rosemary quick breads are a revolving mental slideshow. I suppose there are worse things to daydream about.

My fixation with flour, butter, and sugar is strange. Mom was not and still is not a huge baker. I remember brownies, biscotti, yellow cake from the box, and an occasional chocolate chip cookie graced the granite counters of the kitchen on SE 52nd Place, where I grew up. But baking experiments were not the norm in our household.

This past weekend, I came across Enlightened Cooking written by Camilla Saulsbury. I’m drawn to her photos and posts because, like me, this blogger has an affinity for baking. But what’s more? Her recipes focus on whole foods. Clean food. Or as she calls it, “superfoods”.

How about whole wheat flour instead of white flour? How about adding in quinoa? How about swapping out butter for olive oil? Or how about throwing in some “boom” by stirring a few dried blueberries into the batter?

Yes, I think that sounds like a great idea. A compromise. A way to add some substance to the confection. Sign me up!

These whole wheat quinoa muffins satisfied my baking bug…for now. I’ve been eating them all week as an accompaniment to my morning Hair Bender java fix from Stumpton Coffee. Such a great combination these two! The quinoa muffins are chewy and hardy – with a little touch of sweet. The coffee is mellow, creamy, caramel-based for washing it down.

Photo by Rachel Dedrickson

Whole Wheat Quinoa Muffins
By Camilla Saulsbury

1 cup quinoa, rinsed in a mesh sieve
2 cups white whole wheat flour (i.e. King Arthur brand)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dried cranberries or any dried fruit you like (I used dried blueberries)
3/4 cup lowfat milk
2/3 cup honey (or agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup)
1/4 cup light olive oil or other neutral cooking oil (e.g., canola, safflower)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease 1 standard 12-cup muffin tin.

Bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook 15-20 minutes until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender. Cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cranberries, and the cooked quinoa.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Makes 12 muffins.

1 comment:

Christine said...

yum! i'll have to try these :)

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