Daily Recipe: Black Quinoa Corn Muffins
One of the things we have on sale this week is black quinoa. This little seed has gotten the spotlight lately, being pushed to the forefront of the health food movement.
Quinoa gets lumped into the grain family, but is in fact related to beets, chard and spinach. The leaves of the plant can be eaten as well as the seeds, although the seeds are what most people commonly eat.
Quinoa grows on stalks three to nine feet tall, with large seed heads that come in a variety of colors – red, purple, orange, green, black or yellow.
A half pound of seed can plant a full acre, yielding 1200-2000 pounds of seeds per acre. This hearty plant is drought resistant, and grows well in poor soils without irrigation or fertilizer. The United Nations have designated it a super crop for its potential to feed the world.
Quinoa is native to the Andes, and sacred to the Incas. They referred to is as the mother of all grains. The harvest starts in late March, with farmers gathering for week long celebrations, with representatives from 4,000 family farms coming together to harvest the seeds.
Not only does this little seed have an awesome history, it’s packed full of nutrition. With more and more research coming out about quinoa (it’s in the spotlight, remember?) studies show that it’s a great option for a gluten free diet as it reduces the risk of diabetes and helps you feel fuller longer. For those who don’t eat meat, this is one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, offering up all the essential amino acids for a healthy diet.
On top of all of this awesomeness is the fact that unlike many grains, it cooks in only 15 minutes. With a subtle nutty taste, it pairs well with a variety of ingredients. You will want to make sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking, as the seeds have a bitter coating called saponin that fends off pests and makes quinoa easy to grow without pesticides.
As you can tell, we’re excited about quinoa. If you haven’t delved into the world of this wonderful little seed, here’s your chance. This recipe is from one of our favorite bloggers, My New Roots. This recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, soy-free AND delicious (we promise).
Black Quinoa Corn Muffins
From: My New Roots
- 1 cup organic corn meal
- 1/4 cup organic corn flour (finely ground corn meal)
- 1 cup cooked black quinoa
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup almond milk (any milk will work)
- 3 tbsp chia seeds + 9 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Start with the quinoa, rinse the seeds well. Quinoa increases four times in size when cooked. For one cup, you’ll only need 1/4 cup of dry quinoa. To cook quinoa, you use a 2:1 ratio, so you’ll want to use 1/2 cup of water.
Put the water and the quinoa in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat up to high, and bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Once it has reached a full boil, turn the heat down to medium, place the lid on and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line or grease 8 tins in a cupcake/muffin pan. Mix chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Add the cooked quinoa.
Check the chia gel to make sure it is thick (it should take 15 minutes or so to obtain the desired texture). In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients together, including the chia gel.
Add the wet to the dry and combine in as few strokes as possible. Fold in the cilantro and chipotle. Spoon batter in to muffin cups and bake until the edges are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test (insert the toothpick, and it comes out clean.) This will be about 25 minutes.
Enjoy your healthy, and very allergy free cornbread.