Cherry Quinoa Power Muffins


Baked

Hi. My name is Flossy and I like to party.

This might possibly be the best ice breaker! While I’ve been dared to use as a formal introduction, I’ve only had the guts to do it on one occasion – in a meeting at work. (Though I should rethink that because it did get a lot of laughs.)

Ingredients

Annnd … I am starting a food blog. I know what you are thinking, “Ugh. Another food blog?” But wait! Mine is different! No, really. I’m special. This food blog is for athletes – specifically endurance athletes and/or anyone who realizes that food is fuel and cares about what they put in their mouth.

But what’s that you say? There are a ton of health food blogs already? Um…okay. You got me there. Whatever. Imma gonna do this and it’s going to start with this recipe for Cherry Quinoa Power Muffins.

It seems fitting to start this blog with a food that you can start your day, or your workout with, right?

Muffins call to mind early weekend mornings. Of fresh, hot, steaming, right-from-the-oven goodness, best enjoyed with your first cup of (strong) coffee. A carb-boost that not only comforts, but will give you just the right amount energy to tackle your long run, masters swim, or the hammer-fest group ride.

This recipe is an adaptation of an adaptation. The muffins looked amazing “as is” but being the competitor that I am, I thought I could do it better–make them healthier. And I think I did a pretty good job (though the original is pretty darn tasty). What you get is a moist, nutty, fruity, and not-too-sweet bite of awesomeness. Too busy to relate to the Martha Stewart view of weekend mornings? Make them the night before and throw one (or three) your jersey pocket or swim bag, as you head out the door.

Mmm, toasty.

 

Go!

Cherry Quinoa Power Muffins
adapted from The Gouda Life and Martha Stewart
makes 10 large muffins, or 12 small muffins

What you need:

1 cup spelt flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup cooked tricolor quinoa
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/3 cup ground flax (flaxseed meal)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cherries, rough-chopped
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 plain coconut milk
 
Method
Preheat oven to 350.Toast the shredded coconut and crushed pecans over medium heat, stirring constantly (it will quickly brown – 3 to 4 minutes). Set aside to cool.In a large bowl, mix the spelt flour, ground flax, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt with a wire whisk. Add the quinoa, cherries, toasted coconut and nuts. Mix well.In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, maple syrup, applesauce, and coconut milk. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until all is incorporated.Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each cup with approximately 1/4 cup of muffin mix. Bake muffins for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
 

Notes

This isn’t brain surgery, these are muffins, and as such you can substitute a million different ingredients and make them your own. (But why would you?) Don’t have spelt flour? Substitute whole wheat. Don’t like the taste of coconut milk? Any full-fat milk will do. Allergic to cherries? Throw in some dried apricots. The most important thing to think about when substituting ingredients is, “Why does this exist?” The full-fat milk adds moisture that fat-free can’t. The maple syrup not only adds sweetness but aids in browning. Stuff like that.