Spiced Applesauce Quinoa Muffins

August 27, 2013
Author Notes

[I've put this in my "Test Kitchen" collection because I plan to test it using pureed pumpkin / butternut squash + a tart apple chopped. Stay tuned.] Quinoa gives this classic muffin a bit of extra protein, as well as a fun texture. I like to use red quinoa for this, as it makes the muffins rather pretty. This recipe can also be made in mini loaf pans, making it easy to freeze some for another day, or in a standard loaf pan if you prefer. The basic ratios are loosely based on my go-to banana bread recipe, from The Tassajara Bread Book. Be sure to use chunky applesauce for this. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames

Test Kitchen Notes

These muffins are 1970s meet the 21st century. And I mean that in a good way! In addition to protein, the quinoa adds moisture and textural interest without adding the grassy or soapy quality that quinoa can sometimes have. The spices blend together really well, making the muffins -- which are delicious on day one -- taste even better on the second day. An excellent recipe from a great cook! —drbabs

  • Makes 1 dozen
  • 96 grams (1/2 cup / 118 ml) canola, sunflower or similar neutral oil
  • 96 grams (1/2 cup / 118 ml) dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 13 grams (2 tablespoons / 30 ml) ground flaxseed
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup / 118 ml) cooked red quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml vanilla
  • 366 grams (1 1/2 cups / 354 ml) unsweetened chunky applesauce (or add 1 tart apple, pared, cored and finely diced, to 1 cup regular unsweetened applesauce)
  • 125 grams (1 cup / 237 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 92 grams (3/4 cup / 177 ml) whole wheat flour
  • 15 grams (2 tablespoons / 30 ml) toasted wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml baking soda
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon / small pinch ground cloves (or ground cardamom, if you prefer)
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup / 118 ml) pecan or walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup / 118 ml) dried cranberries, raisins, or finely chopped dried apricots
  • 2 teaspoons / 10 ml raw sugar
  • A few good dashes of cinnamon for the topping
In This Recipe
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a regular muffin tin (or a standard loaf pan or three mini-loaf pans, if you prefer).
  2. Beat the oil and brown sugar together; then add the eggs, the flaxseed, and the vanilla and beat well until the batter is glossy and smooth.
  3. Add the applesauce and the quinoa. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Stir together the flours, wheat germ, soda, salt and spices, to combine well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, the nuts, and the dried fruit to the wet ingredients. Swiftly stir with a large spoon, taking care not to overbeat.
  6. Pour the batter in the prepared muffin tin or loaf pan(s).
  7. Combine the raw sugar and a few good dashes of cinnamon to make the topping. Sprinkle it on the muffins or loaf (or loaves).
  8. Bake for 25 minutes if making muffins; if making the standard loaf, bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, and the mini-loaves for 30 minutes. In each instance, test by gently pressing your index finger in the middle of the loaf or a muffin. If it quickly springs back, remove from the oven. If you create a little depression, continue to bake for another 5 minutes in the case of a standard loaf, or 2 minutes for either the mini-loaves or muffins. Check and repeat again if necessary.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before removing.
  10. I hope you like these.

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Recipe by: AntoniaJames

When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)