Banana Nut Quinoa Muffins (Gluten-Free)

By Ann Fulton

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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.

For Cream of Quinoa recipe, click here.

For Chunky Quinoa Granola, click here.

Banana Nut Quinoa Muffins (Gluten-Free)
Yields 12 muffins.
  • 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
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, quinoa flakes, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nuts, and raisins.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, oil, egg, milk, and vanilla.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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So you know what to look for if this is a new product for you…Although there are a variety of brands of quinoa flakes available, this is what I purchase. Some brands are packaged in a plastic bag; all are typically found in the organic or gluten-free aisle of most larger grocery stores as well as many smaller markets.

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  1. Rowan Brown

    This is BY FAR the best GF muffin recipe I’ve ever tried! In my batch, I used demerara sugar and substituted dried cranberries for the raisins. I also used a silicon muffin pan, so they didn’t really need any greasing and they popped out beautifully intact. And they are so delicious!! Thanks you for posting his fabulous recipe!

    1. Ann Post author

      I’m so happy that you found this recipe, Rowan, and that it’s a keeper. Love the use of cranberries and appreciate the mention regarding the silicone muffin pan. Thanks for taking a moment to comment!

  2. Pingback: Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Cookies — The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

  3. Liz

    Oh my goodness, I was looking for a recipe to use up my quinoa flakes (I didn’t like them as an oatmeal alternative), and I hit the perfect recipe first time. I love it when that happens (not sure it has before lol). I used maple syrup (one of my favourite ingredients) and coconut oil. It will take all my will power not to eat them all today, especially while they’re warm. Delicious! Thank you!!

    1. Ann Post author

      Awesome comment, Liz! I’m so glad these worked out so well…thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  4. Pingback: The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – Chunky Quinoa Granola

  5. Michele

    Ann, the banana quinoa muffins turned out wonderful! I used a stoneware muffin pan so I wound up baking about 5 minutes longer, but they came out perfect.

    Thank you for another great recipe!

    1. Ann

      They are different, Joy, so I would not recommend using regular quinoa. If you are inclined, look for the flakes in the organic or gluten-free aisle of your supermarket. Health food markets often carry them, too. I hope that helps!

  6. Mary Lou Keller

    Need to make more of these Ann! We were out of town part of weekend and had nothing but festival food. I am feeling it today! I need to get back on track.

  7. Mary Lou Keller

    I have one that makes four mini-loaves of bread that I adore. I have a couple of recipes I make each year for Christmas that I use them for and love it. I will have to see about getting the recipes to you, I have had them for well over 20 years. 🙂

    1. Ann

      Don’t you love it when you have something that has served you so well for so long?! I bet a lot of delicious recipes have emerged from those pans!

  8. Mary Lou Keller

    Ann I made these Sunday and they are a HIT! I used my stoneware muffin pan and wound up leaving them in about 7 minutes longer (they did not seem quite done)

    Just had one for my breakfast, they warm up nicely in microwave.

    I am adding these to my list of favorites.
    Thank you so much!

    1. Ann

      I am thrilled you liked them, Mary Lou, and thank you for the great feedback regarding the muffin pan. Stoneware does work so well for baking. I have several stoneware pans…but no muffin pan yet!

  9. Mary Lou Keller

    These look amazing! going to add the brown rice flower to my grocery list.. and I need to get some more coconut oil. which kind do you prefer to use Ann? there is extra virgin and regular, and not sure which is considered the “healthiest”.

    1. Ann

      Good question, Mary Lou. I buy different brands but always use extra virgin coconut oil. However, you may substitute melted butter, grapeseed, or canola oil if you prefer not to make the purchase.