Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cranberry Banana Quinoa Muffins

I discovered this recipe on my Whole Foods Recipe iPhone app, which is probably my favorite app, and definitely the cooking-related one I use the most. The recipe is actually for Cranberry Banana Quinoa Bread. I decided to make muffins because this way I don't have to actually slice a loaf of bread--yes, I'm that lazy. Also, muffins don't take as long to bake or cool.

Of course, I had to change a few things. I didn't have any quinoa flakes, so I used quinoa flour, hoping they're similar enough to not matter. Also, I didn't have any garbanzo bean flour, so I used up what was left of another all-purpose gluten-free flour I had in the pantry. The only other item I subbed was using unrefined cane sugar in place of regular granulated, so my batter and muffins have a brownish tint. Oh, and I accidentally bought the extra large eggs instead of large ones the last time I went grocery shopping, but I couldn't tell that it made any difference.


3/4 cup quinoa flakes (I used quinoa flour)
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (I used what was left in my box of Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour)
1/3 cup potato starch (make sure you use potato starch and not potato flour, BIG difference)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/4 cups (about 3) ripe mashed bananas
2 large eggs
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated, non-dairy margarine that has been melted and cooled (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a loaf pan (or muffin tin). Combine quinoa flakes, bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl and use a wire whisk to mix everything together. Set aside. (I forgot to get a photo of that step.)

Mix mashed bananas, eggs, and margarine together in a separate bowl until well combined. Add sugar, cranberries and lemon juice and mix until blended.
Gently stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix batter. Pour into loaf pan/muffin tin and bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes for loaves and 25 minutes for muffins.
Allow to cool completely before serving.
I was very pleased with how these came out. I taste the banana more than the cranberries, but the mouthfeel is very pleasant. They do smell and taste slightly of quinoa, but that may be better balanced out when used with garbanzo bean flour as per the recipe, and they still taste good. In fact, I've eaten 3 so far. The rest are in the freezer. I can defrost them as needed for breakfast or a snack, and I'm less likely to eat more than 1 at a time that way.
I didn't mention it earlier, but these muffins are also dairy free. There is sugar in them, but the bananas replace a good deal of the fat, so they're also a tiny bit healthy. I'm thinking about trying these again only with applesauce instead of bananas, since not everybody likes banana bread.

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