I can already hear the groans. “Fitness muffins, yuck…and what the heck is quinoa anyway??”
Quinoa is a grain-like seed that cooks up much like rice. Originating from Peru, where it was revered by the ancient Incas as the “mother of all grains,” quinoa contains the essential amino acids necessary to make it a complete protein.
So, there you have it. Quinoa is a complete protein which makes it the perfect ingredient for a pre-workout muffin. Said muffins BTW have the same calorie count as my homemade energy bars but are moist and satiate my need for fall flavors. These muffins will not disappoint. As a matter of fact, aside from a slight crunchiness imparted from the quinoa, you won’t even know its there. But, your body will!
- 1 1/4 cup flour, preferably whole wheat
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
- 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked and drained**
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins or dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)
- Pre-heat oven to 400°
- Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with either non-stick spray or paper liners
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl
- Add the quinoa, pumpkin, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla
- Mix well
- Add dried fruit and mix until incorporated
- Measure evenly into muffin cups
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
Kat’s Tip: Make your own pumpkin pie spice by combining 1 teaspoon cinnamon with 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon *each* allspice and nutmeg.
Kat’s Second Tip: I buy quinoa in bulk at Sprouts. It cooks up just like rice; one part quinoa to two parts water. I use my rice cooker but you could do it on the stove top as well. Quinoa has a bitter outer layer which washes away with water so make sure you rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before cooking.
Calories 177.6 Total Fat 5.3 g Cholesterol 42.0 mg Sodium 53.6 mg Potassium 173.7 mg Carbohydrate 32.6 g Protein 4.0 g
Inspiration: Bob’s Red Mill – I cut the sugar down to reduce the calorie count a bit.