Quinoa Raspberry Muffins

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Viji

This recipe caught my immediate attention while browsing through a very interesting and beautiful book “Cooking with Quinoa” – Rena Patten. But li’l did I know about ’2013′ being declared as the “International Year of Quinoa” at that time.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa” in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people who has preserved Quinoa as food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), though commonly referred to as the ‘mother of all grains’ is a pseudograin. Actually, it is the seed of an ancient plant (a member of the Goosefoot Family, which includes plants such as sugar beets, Swiss chard and Spinach), native to the Andes mountins in South America.

The seeds need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting ‘saponins’, prior to consumption. Saponins can be removed by simply rinsing quinoa in cold running water while rubbing it lightly between finger tips. Most quinoa sold commercially in North America has been processed to remove this coating.

There are many different varieties of quinoa and is available in grain form, flakes and flour. In general, the seeds are cooked the same way as rice and can be used in wide range of dishes like soups, salads, pasta,cereals, breads and desserts. It is very light in stomach and easy to digest. Cooked quinoa has a slightly nutty taste. This nutty taste is more pronounced in the flour, giving it quite an earthy aroma.

Nutritionally, quinoa has an excellent balance between oil, fat and protein and has a unique composition of amino acids. One of the key essential amino acids, Lysine, which is relatively uncommon within the plant kingdom, comes very close to the standards, set by the FAO for human nutritional needs.

Its exceptional nutritional qualities, ease of use, versatility of preparation and potential for greatly increased yields in controlled environments has led NASA to include ‘Quinoa’ as a part of its astronauts’ diets on long term space missions. Quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s CELSS (Controlled Ecological Life Support System) for long duration human occupied space flights…….

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….okay…. why am I so keen about the ‘keen-wa’? Every mom lives with a dream of making her kids’ dream come true! My kids’ is to go to MARS and my ‘MISSION’ is to do whatever it takes to help them achieve this. So here I am, making these nutritious and delicious quinoa muffins with raspberries ….. for the two aspiring astronauts to get used to the ‘nutty earthy taste’ of quinoa They are perfectly fine with the seeds cooked but not so (yet) with the stronger taste from the flour. The nutty taste is indeed quite strong when the muffins are still warm. One really has to get used to it to like it but after they cool down or even better, the next day, they do taste delicious………

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Jokes apart, that saturday morning felt so perfect! The earthy nutty taste of these warm muffins felt divine, a cup of hot coffee in one hand  and my all time favourite book on the other….such simple things always made me so contented….so happy…. here’s to all of you who pick these seeds by hand….. who live in harmony with nature…..here’s to “a future sown thousands of years ago”……..

Quinoa Raspberry Muffins

  • 2 cups quinoa flour
  • 1 1/4 cups of sucanat or sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

Line a regular 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.

Pour the milk into another bowl, lighly beat in the eggs, vanilla and butter.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the liquid ingredients, mixing as you go until all the ingredients are combined.

Gently fold in the raspberries.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until the muffins are golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into a muffin.

Leave to rest in the tin for 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.

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