Sunday, May 1, 2011

Food for a Good Cause :: Quinoa Muffins

This weekend I volunteered with Pet Project Rescue at the first No-Kill Walk for Animals.  The walk was around Lake Como in St. Paul and participants walked to benefit a local animal rescue of their choice.  I helped out at the Pet Project Rescue booth giving out information and trying not to screw things up.  The weather was NOT going to be good -- rainy and cold -- so the night before I thought I'd bake up a little snack for the fellow volunteers who joined me at 8am!

Oz - a PPR foster pup -- braving the weather with his stylish rain jacket!
Papi enjoying his bone on his muddy blanket!
I found this recipe on Big Girls Small Kitchen and adapted it to meet my refrigerator contents.  The quinoa adds a healthy punch and an amazing texture to these otherwise normal muffins.  I also threw in some raisins for a chewy and sweet kick.  I tripled this recipe to make 24 muffins, but this original recipe makes about 8.

1/4 cup canola oil*
1/2 cup sugar, minus 2 tbls
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and egg.  Beat or whisk until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened.  Add the milk and mix again.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour this over the wet ingredients and stir together.  Add the quinoa and raisins and stir to combine.

Divide the batter evenly among 8 muffin cups.  Fill the remaining cups with water to protect your pans.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Eat and enjoy!

*Food Tip: For a richer, denser muffin, substitute all or some of the oil with apple sauce.  And while any neutral oil will work with this recipe, canola oil is rich in Vitamin E and has the lowest amount of saturated fat among all of the cooking oils.  Bonus!

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