Carrot Quinoa Muffins
As someone who fumbles her words in delicate situations, I deeply admire those who possess an innate ability to say just the right thing at just the right time. I, on the contrary, tend to dig myself into an incoherent verbal hole. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a different love language more adept at communicating my sympathies—muffins. Today’s expression: Carrot Quinoa Muffins.
Whenever someone I love is faced with an emotional situation, happy or sad, my immediate inclination is to bake, and my go-to good is muffins. I might not have the right words to communicate my shared joy or sorrow, but where English fails, I hope that a basket of warm, homemade muffins will succeed.
But why muffins?
In truth, I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps it is muffins’ homey simplicity and wholesome comfort that makes them a fitting means to convey my caring. Muffins are also fairly quick and easy to stir together, meaning that I can more rapidly bake a batch to speak love on my behalf.
Recent examples of muffins handling my sweet talk:
- After my sister had her baby, I stocked her freezer with a triple batch of Healthy Blueberry Muffins.
- My in-laws spent an entire day helping us with yardwork. I thanked them via Maple Oatmeal Muffins.
- My friend Laura is visiting this weekend, and I plan to welcome her by way of Healthy Banana Muffins, with an affection addition of chocolate chips.
Today’s Carrot Quinoa Muffins were a declaration of love/sympathy/you-should-probably-eat-something-healthy-ASAP for Ben when he was having a particularly toilsome week at work. His nights involved a lot of takeout and peanut M&Ms at his desk, and I reasoned that a batch of healthy Carrot Quinoa Muffins would be a welcome, bright addition to his day.
I wasn’t sure how Ben would react to the quinoa muffins, but he loved them. When I asked him if he could guess what the muffins were called, his immediate response was, “Darn Good Muffins.”
Except he didn’t say darn. His wording was a bit more…emphatic.
Made with toasty walnuts, cinnamon, and ginger, these quinoa muffins taste reminiscent of carrot cake but are filling and good for you. Greek yogurt and buttermilk make them ultra moist, the shredded carrot adds natural sweetness, and cooked quinoa stirred into the batter provides protein to power your morning breakfasts and afternoon snacks.
Since it is a muffin recipe day, let me tell you something I don’t express often or adequately enough: I’m so happy and grateful you are here. Thank you for being a reader! This is me, virtually dropping a warm batch of Carrot Quinoa Muffins on your doorstep. I hope that they become a (non-virtual) reality in your kitchen soon!
Tools I used to bake this recipe:
Carrot Quinoa Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa — (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar*
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk, — plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons canola oil — or melted, cooled coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly grated carrots — lightly pressed dry
- 1/2 cup mix-ins: toasted chopped walnuts — or pecans, raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, or other chopped dried fruit (I love a mix of walnuts and golden raisins)
If needed, cook the quinoa. Be careful not to overcook or use more than the necessary amount of water. The quinoa grains should be tender but still separate, rather than mushy and clumped together. When ready to bake, preheat your oven oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners or lightly coat with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cooked quinoa, white whole wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the quinoa mixture and stir by hand, just until combined. Gently fold in the carrots and any desired mix-ins. Divide among the muffin cups.
Bake 25 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently remove the muffins from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy plain or with a smear of peanut butter, apple butter, or a bit of softened, salted butter.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 muffin (with walnuts)) — Calories: 202, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 105mg, Carbohydrates: 34g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 12g, Protein: 5g
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