Friday, May 20, 2011

Quinoa Muffins - Yum!

Do you eat quinoa?  It is a wonder grain (seed, actually) that is a complete protein!  It is a bit nutty in flavour, and we eat it sometimes, but I'd like to cook more with it.  More good news about it is that it is gluten -free, and you can do so many things with it!  You can buy quinoa floor, but I just made my own today but grinding it in the food processor until it was the texture of cornmeal.  Then I made these quinoa muffins, the recipe for which I found on a parent website.  Our little guy is 7 months old, and he is a picky eater.  He'll eat a bit of rice cereal, and that's it!  He really wants to hold his food and take bites of big things - I let him scrape at my apple once, and on a pear - he only has 2 teeth, so he couldn't get much apple at all, mostly gumming it, but I did watch him like a hawk to be sure he was okay.  Anyway, he has had quinoa, and so I made these up with a modification, and he loved them!  Again, he got tiny pieces, but as he gets the hang of solid foods, he'll get larger pieces.  No eggs, and no gluten-grain flours, so no allergy concerns for us here! And since quinoa is a complete protein, they are a great snack for the rest of us too! 

*note - I am no baby nutritionist or doctor, so only try foods for your baby that your doctor/nurse practitioner/naturopath say are okay**

Here is the recipe:

Quinoa Muffins (makes 6)
Into a mixer, combine:
1 cup quinoa floor (you need to grind more quinoa to make less flour...confused?  good)
2/3 cup cold water
1 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup brown sugar

In small bowl or plate, mash a banana and add 1 tsp baking powder to it.  Let it sit 2 minutes

Add the banana to the rest of the mix.

Add in another 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix well.  Pour into muffin tin (silicone, or papers or greased pan).  They don't rise much, so don't be too stingy.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

We all love them!
Proof of happy baby eating muffin!

I think I'll experiment with other sweeteners later, like I used to: stewed dates come to mind, but for now brown sugar is the cheap, easy option.  I'll be baking a bunch of these this long weekend and freezing them so that when the weather gets really hot and we want muffins, I don't have to heat up the house.  Maybe we should just build a summer kitchen!

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