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Lucky Comestible II (2): Almond-Quinoa Muffins

[I thought it would be fun to run a little series over here at DDD: I’ll profile one one of my favorite foods, or a food that I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed, over several days.  For this second entry, I’m focusing on Quinoa. The series is presented on an occasional (and entirely arbitrary) basis, before I move on to the next lucky comestible. ]


Well.  So.  It snowed again yesterday.  Actually, it stormed; we got about 5 cm. (2 inches) to add to the–what?  478 cm?  792 cm?  14 kilometers?–pre-existing snow already piled in mini-glaciers beside every driveway, walkway, sidewalk, and garage.  And there I was, once again stuck in the house, avoiding the pelting flakes and ice pellets.  

I imagine this is what it feels like to live in perma-frost, constantly surrounded by the white stuff with no end in sight. I feel exactly like Captain Robert Scott must have felt on one of his forays to the South Pole, holed up with his companions in his ice-shack as refuge against the elements.  Just as he did in his famous diary, I could easily write an entry something like this:

Bitter storms accosted the crew today, forcing the team to head indoors.  We huddle by the makeshift fire and attempt to warm our weary, frostbitten hands.  Thrashing winds surround us at every turn.  All but forsaken in this frigid terrain, we have but each other and the dogs for company.  Poor mongrels, even they refuse to venture outdoors in this accursed weather. But tomorrow, if the winds permit, we shall harness them up and commence the hazardous trek anew. . . .

Okay, well, not exactly like Scott, as I’m actually writing on a computer, not by hand with pen and ink on paper in sub-zero weather.  Oh, and I’m in a heated brick house in a modern city of 5 million people, not an ice shack.  Oh, with electricity. And some organic, vegan spelt cranberry-pumpkin scones and a hot cup of mint tea beside me.  And I’m not a couple thousand kilometers from the nearest sign of civilization. 

But other than that, just like him.

What this blasted weather stirs up in me (besides the propensity to write like a 19th Century Antarctic explorer) is a longing for breakfast foods. Since my dad worked at his store 6 days a week, he was out of the house by 6:30 AM on Saturday mornings.  During the winter, The CFO and I would fend for ourselves at breakfast and let our mom sleep in (once she returned to bed after making breakfast for our father). 

Our self-sufficiency wasn’t exactly the most healthful (I seem to recall feasting on saltines, peanut butter, and chocolate milk as we watched Saturday-morning cartoons), but it was comfort food to us.  These days, any breakfast fare spells comfort to me; when it’s cold outside, I want to eat pancakes, muffins, scones, omelettes, or even baked oats

Well, these quinoa muffins, adapted from a recipe in Veganomicon, fit the bill perfectly.  Hearty yet slightly sweet, filling yet not too heavy, they are satisfying and sufficient to warm the spirit and the belly. And full of nourishment for energy to brave the elements again, when you’re finally ready to lace up the sled dogs and hit the expedition once more.

(“Um, Mum, you’re not actually thinking of hooking us up to a sled, are you? Because, you know, it’s pretty cold out there, and our paws are rather delicate. . . we really hate getting them all full of ice and snow if we don’t absolutely have to.”) 

Almond-Quinoa Muffins

Adapted from Veganomicon


I adapted these by using spelt flour and chopped dates, since I had no apricots on hand.  These are dense and pleasantly chewy; the quinoa does make its presence known, however, so beware that you will taste it in the mix.  I think these would be outstanding with the suggested apricots as well. 

1 cup vanilla soymilk

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds

1/4 cup sunflower or other light-tasting oil

1/4 cup agave nectar or pure maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup light spelt flour

1/3 cup whole barley flour

1/4 cup almond meal or almond flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1-1/4 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup finely chopped dates

Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C) and lightly grease 12 muffins cups, or line with paper liners.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the soymilk and flax; allow to sit for one minute, then whisk in the oil, agave, and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just incorporated. Gently fold in the cooked quinoa and the apricots and mix until only the large lumps are gone.

Pour into the prepared muffins tins, filling about 3/4 full, and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  May be frozen.

Other Posts in this Series:

Lucky Comestible II (1): Quinoa Salad with Buckwheat and Cranberries

Lucky Comestible II (3): Quinoa-Oatmeal Croquettes

Lucky Comestible II (4):  Tagine of Quinoa with Chickpeas, Olives and Prunes

Lucky Comestible II (5): Apple Quinoa Cake

Other Quinoa Recipes:

(Got a quinoa recipe?  Send me the link during this Lucky Comestible week, and I’ll add it to the list!)




14 comments to Lucky Comestible II (2): Almond-Quinoa Muffins

  • That muffin looks like it is sitting there waiting for me to snatch it up and eat it… but I can’t seem to get my hand past the screen and into the computer to reach it!

    About Soyatoo– don’t worry, it’s not just you! I’ve had problem cans of Soyatoo as well :o/. So now I test them before I buy one. I figure, if the can works, I’m paying for it anyway, and if it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t matter that I opened it because it can’t be used (I’ll usually tell the Whole Foods’ workers what I’m doing ahead of time, though, and they’ve never had a problem with it). Hopefully the Soyatoo people will soon be able to develop a better system. But until that time, I’m just grateful that vegan canned whipped cream actually exists!


  • Have you tried baking with toasted, uncooked quinoa or millet? I’ve baked muffins and bread and they impart a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. I haven’t made these Vcon muffins yet, but they sure look great!


  • Looks scrumptious! I will have to try these with the spelt flower – I’m sure the spelt/quinoa flavour combo is so earthy and satisfying.


  • I had muffins with quinoa flour on a plane (yes good plane food!) which has convinced me that quinoa in muffins is a very good thing – now I am doubly convinced after seeing your wonderful looking muffins – wonder how the red quinoa I bought would look in these?


  • Those look great! And as for the snow…we are getting ANOTHER 10cms today in London. Ugh. Going to make muffins 🙂


  • wow! you really know how to excite a quinoa freak! amazing! I want one!


  • Just made them (I was channelling a domestic goddess instinct early this morning for some utterly inexplicable reason) and not only do they taste sensational, but my entire house smells gorgeous. The dates are a great idea here.

    I feel for you in those arctic/antarctic conditions…but, you know, just once in my life I’d love to see snow!


  • Love your blog! So glad that I found it!


  • It just so happens that I purchased some almond flour today. Now I know what to do with some of the remains. I’m so tired of the snow, but today I didn’t have to work, so I’m spending the afternoon in the kitchen. There is a bright side to Canadian winters after all perhaps, but still, I’m craving spring.


  • CCV,

    I’m so glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one who’s had problems with Soyatoo! But I love your idea of trying it out–of course they would want it back if it were broken, anyway! Thanks for the tip. 🙂


    I love baking with raw millet, which I throw into muffins and cookies. I haven’t yet tried quinoa that way, but I love the idea of toasting it first!

    Yes, the spelt seems to work well, as it’s pretty robust on its own, so it balances the strong flavor of the quinoa, I think. I find with spelt, you have to use a bit more spice to taste it (the original recipe only had 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, for instance).

    I want to know which airline! That’s amazing, that they served quinoa muffins. I think the red would look beautiful in these–you’d be able to notice the grain, which I think would be rather appetizing.


    You have my greatest sympathies. . . I’m not sure I could bear it!! But do hope that the muffins help.

    So glad to oblige! I’m a huge fan of quinoa, too 🙂 .

    Yay! So glad you liked them. I guess I can understand about wanting to see snow. . . if I only had to see it instead of walk through/on it, I might feel the same way.

    Thanks so much for your comment, and welcome to the blog! Very much appreciate it!

    Lucky you–extra time in the kitchen! I had grand plans for today, but I guess they’ll have to wait. . .


  • Oh, I really love quinoa and these muffins look absolutely wonderful. I’ll be baking up a batch this weekend. I’m sure it’ll be a great first-time (for me) use of barley flour too – an ingredient I’ve been wanting to try for a while now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  • I was inspired by you last night Ricki, and cooked quinoa. One of those dinners where I was using up bits and pieces we already had. While the quinoa cooked on the stovetop, I roasted some small cubes of eggplant in Moroccan spices in the oven. And I tossed the eggplant through the quinoa, with some dukkah, fresh coriander and toasted cashews.

    And it was delicious. Loved the quinoa.


  • Oh yes, and I had tahini dressing drizzled over the top as well. Delicious.


  • Ricki,

    Your Scott comparision has just made me howl with laughter at my desk! Just as our CEO walked past!


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