For those looking for baking alternatives to wheat flour, whether for a gluten-free requirement or simply to introduce healthy options into your diet, quinoa flakes might just be something to add to your grocery list. While I first enjoyed quinoa flakes as a quick breakfast option similar to cream of wheat, in the last year or so I have been baking with them regularly. The flakes are thinly shaved pieces of quinoa, so there is no need to precook. Likewise, they contain all the health benefits of regular quinoa.
The first time I made these muffins, I had a feeling my kids would detect a funny taste. Quinoa does have a subtle yet unique flavor that I thought might turn them off–especially since I made them the day after baking chocolate chip muffins. That’s a tough act to follow! To my surprise, the boys loved them. Since that first success, I have swapped out the sugar I initially used with maple syrup or honey and have varied the nuts and fruit a bit. What I like most about these muffins is the texture–the quinoa flakes create a tender crumb and consistency that is not typical in many gluten-free baked goods.
These muffins are medium-sized, and my growing boys typically request two for breakfast. We eat them as a snack, and I occasionally serve them with dinner as a healthy alternative to a dinner roll.
- 2/3 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/3 cup sugar (1/3 cup honey or maple syrup may be used instead)
- 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans (could use walnuts or nut of choice)
- 1/3 cup raisins (I used golden this time; regular are fine, too)
- 2 medium-size ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (could use melted butter, canola or grapeseed oil)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk (I have used non-fat although canned coconut milk is wonderful; use what you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, quinoa flakes, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nuts, and raisins.
In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, oil, egg, milk, and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. The quinoa will thicken the batter and the mixture will be light and fluffy.
Scoop the batter into 12 greased muffins tins. I like to use an ice cream scoop. One full scoop per tin will portion the amount almost perfectly and will allow you to keep the batter light and fluffy. (Avoids dripping all over the pan, too!)
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just cooked through. The muffins will be pale in color but moist and light. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, and then gently loosen the edges with a knife and cool on a baking rack.
I store the cooled muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. Stored this way, they will last for about a week. These muffins also freeze well.