Nom Nomz Tuesday

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Recipe: Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins

I pulled this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Poor Girl Eats Well.  I’ve never heard about putting quinoa in well, anything, especially baked goods but alas, here it is and it looks amazing.  And at 30 cents per serving, my wallet LOVES me.

Eat on, ladies!

I found these to be remarkably quick & easy to make.  The longest you’ll spend on any part of the process is cooking the quinoa, and if you’re the type that cooks it up in big batches like I do, you’re already halfway home.

The rest is simple: just some extremely ripe bananas and plenty of fresh, sweet strawberries, along with the other usual muffin-making suspects.  I kept the flour to a bare minimum, since the cooked quinoa would also help to hold everything together, and despite the fact that I have some frozen berries in ye olde freezer, I made sure to use the remaining fresh berries I had from my strawberry & blood orange popsicle making last week.  Frozen strawberries are fine in a pinch, but personally, I prefer biting into bits of fresh berries when I enjoy my muffin.  The texture is great and the unexpected juicy sweetness is always a pleasant surprise.

A couple final notes: these are very filling, so keep them small.  You don’t have to make them mini muffin small (though they’d be pretty awesome), but standard cupcake/muffin size is just perfect for these.  Why?  Because they’re very rich & dense, thanks to the fresh ingredients and all that quinoa.  They’re very deceiving little muffins, so it’s best to keep them small rather than whipping out the big muffin tin.  Because they’re so filling and packed with protein, these would be great for a quick breakfast on the go, so making these on a Sunday to enjoy throughout the workweek is a great plan.  And at just $0.30 per muffin, this beats anything you’ll be able to grab at Starbucks or at some fast food joint!  And now, the recipe…

Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins (makes 12 muffins; total cost per muffin: $0.30)

1 1/3 c quinoa flour (whole wheat or all purpose is fine if you don’t have access to quinoa flour)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T melted butter
1 t vanilla extract
2 medium overripe bananas, mashed
1 c cooked quinoa
1 c finely chopped fresh strawberries
1-2 strawberries, thinly sliced (optional for garnish)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°.  Prepare a muffin or cupcake tin with cooking spray or muffin liners.  In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.  In a separate, larger bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs & vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Mix in the dry flour mixture a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring together until completely incorporated.

2.  When all the flour has been mixed in, add the mashed bananas and the quinoa, and mix well.  Add the chopped strawberries (juice & all!) and fold into the muffin batter.  Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.  Place one strawberry slice on top of each muffin, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

3.  Remove from oven and cool for a couple of minutes before removing muffins from pan.  Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, or until ready to serve.  Serve for brunch or take some with you to for a quick weekday breakfast, and enjoy!