There is something so satisfying about that perfectly sweet, yet savory muffin that leaves you just full enough to be the ideal snack. Thinking back to my childhood, I remember craving those gas station muffins that were the size of my fist, if not bigger, and filled with so much artificial sugar. Now though that I realize just how awful those were for my body, I tend to stick with making muffins at home. Recently, I've been making these red quinoa cranberry muffins just about every weekend!
Today's recipe is a family original. My father actually "invented" this recipe just a few months ago and it has become a hit already. It all started when he saw that red quinoa was a thing at our local coop and brought some home for him and my mother to try. Unfortunately, red quinoa can have quite the unique taste when plain and neither of them cared for it that much. My father, always rather inventive and out-there with his cooking ideas, then announced that he was going to try to make cookies with the quinoa. My mother quickly told him that she was not going to eat them if he did! To which my father said, "Fine. Then I'll make muffins." Below is the recipe that my father created that night, and I assure you, these are the most amazing muffins!
If you don't do much with quinoa currently, I suggest you change that immediately! Quinoa is extremely rich in protein and actually contains all nine essential amino acids which makes it very healthy addition to the typical muffin. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as iron, lysine, magnesium, and manganese. And for those looking for an extra boost of fiber, quinoa has twice as much as most grains!
Additionally, this recipe is completely gluten and dairy free! It also has no white sugar with maple syrup and cranberries acting as its only sweetener (each of which can be lessened for a more savory muffin).
Red Quinoa Cranberry Muffins
2 cups cooked red quinoa
2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 to 1 cup coconut oil
2/3 to 1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup or more nut, oat, soy, or split-pea milk
1 cup or more dried cranberries
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (except the cranberries).
2. Mix all of the wet ingredients together in another bowl.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Add in the cranberries (as much as you want!).
5. Bake in a muffin tin for 18 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 24 muffins.
Keep in mind: Depending on how wet the quinoa is, you may find yourself not needing to add the milk - that is totally okay! You can also add the milk and adjust the flour to keep it a thicker batter. Also, if you don't have access to red quinoa at your local bulk store, regular quinoa will do just fine as well! The muffins might not look quite so speckled, but they will still taste great!
I hope some day to pass this recipe down to my children and tell them how their grandfather invented it! Are you adventurous enough to try my father's red quinoa cranberry muffins? I assure you, you won't be disappointed! They make the most delicious and healthy afternoon snack.