Saturday, June 26, 2010

Healthy Muffin Duo: Pumpkin-Quinoa and Coconut-Banana

We make a lot of cupcakes around here. And cookies. And things involving marshmallows, chocolate, and/or a variety of sugars. Yes, we admit that sometimes we need to take a little break. I fully believe that, while I'm baking, butter particles in the air get sopped up through my skin. Understandably, after baking dozens and dozens of cupcakes this week, I'm feeling a bit . . . weighed down.

Mr. C and I have another life outside of the baking world. We have, dare I say it, pretty healthy eating habits. I'm a vegetarian who would eat chickpeas and green things for every meal if it was socially acceptable. My better half would be happy eating dahl for the rest of his life. We may have a cookie jar on our counter-top, but I always try and counterbalance the fat with something a bit more pleasant. The last couple of weeks have seen a large load of sweets coming out of our test kitchen, so I thought it was time to detox with some baked goods that left our tummy feeling more healthy and fulfilled. Yes, they may not be chocolate covered chocolate, but I think I love them just as much. If not more. The horror!

CoconutBanana (3)

The first recipe is a personal favourite of mine - maybe because it contains a super food that I've had a real love affair with lately. As a vegetarian, I'm always looking for new and different ways to inject protein into my diet. Specifically, new and different ways that do not involve tofu. I came across quinoa a couple years back, and it's been on my menu ever since. Pumpkin-Quinoa Muffins have amazing texture and flavour - and jeez louise, are they ever filling. If you snack on them with a half cup of cottage cheese, you'd be raring to go for the rest of the day.

The second muffin is something sweet, thick, and moist. It tastes like it's packed with sugar, but in reality this whole wheat, naturally sweetened treat gets its flavour from the natural taste of bananas. Coconut-Banana Muffins are that satisfyingly sweet alternative to that cupcake you've had your eye on all day.

I hope you enjoy! And, please, if you have a recipe for a to-die-for healthy (and filling!) muffin - please share with us!

QuinoaPumpkin (4)

Pumpkin-Quinoa Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
1/2 cup skim yogurt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or walnuts

1) Preheat the oven to 400F

2)In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cooled cooked quinoa, separating the grains with a fork to distribute evenly.

3) In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the pumpkin, yogurt, butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Gradually stir into the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

4) Spoon the batter into muffin tins and sprinkle with sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds/walnuts. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the muffins are browned around edges and a tester comes out clean.


Coconut-Banana Muffins
Makes about 10 muffins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shredded or flaked coconut
2 mashed very ripe bananas
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup skim yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 chopped dried apricots or dates

1)Preheat oven to 375°F

2)In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder and salt. Toss in about 1/2 cup of coconut. In another bowl whisk/mash together the bananas, sugar, buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until blended, then add dried apricots or dates. Do not overmix.

3)Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake for about 25 minutes, until puffed and golden, or when your cake tester comes out clean.


this dynamic duo doesn't come with capes or grappling hooks. though it would be pretty cool if they did.


Lauren said...

these look amazing! thank you for sharing a recipe with quinoa. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do love quinoa and try to fit it into our diet more. My husband doesn't care for it, but i have only one recipe so...this is great! I think my kids would eat anything that resembles a cupcake! thank you for sharing!

gal's said...

Those coconut banana muffins - yum! And I'm so psyched to find new ways to use healthy grains.

C&C Cakery said...

Thank you Gal and Lauren! Let us know if you bake these little healthy treats - and especially let us know if you find anymore nutritious muffins. We always need more in our arsenal!

vincent said...


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Rick said...

Quinoa. I know how to say that. Love the healthy alternatives.

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