These little bitches are Strawberry Banana Quinoa Muffins. Have you ever cooked with quinoa? Do you even know how to SAY quinoa? Because it’s like KEEN-wah which blew my mind a little bit. Everything about cooking with quinoa blew my mind a little bit.
The pin took me to this page: http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/2012/02/recipe-strawberry-banana-quinoa-muffins.html which is where you’ll find the recipe. It’s a really cool website where you can find ways to eat well on a tight budget. Each recipe has a little tag on it that says how much it costs to make per serving. These muffins are $.50, which is pretty awesome when you think about it. If you think about it in real life terms though, it’s not that awesome. Fresh fruit isn’t cheap, and neither is quinoa. But, I guess if it makes you breakfast for 12 days straight, it’s a good deal.
However, cooking with quinoa was not as easy as I expected.
For those of you who are not familiar with quinoa, it seems to have exploded in popularity lately. According to Wikipedia, it’s a “grain-like crop” with a little over 200 calories per cup when it’s cooked. People put it in everything lately, from salads to chicken to breakfast foods like this. It’s gluten-free, so that’s always a plus for a lot of people, but it’s also regarded as having a striking overall nutrient richness. It has a lot of qualities of grains, but it has much more protein and more of the good fats than wheat, oats, barley, etc. In this particular recipe, the cooked quinoa was meant to add a moist texture.
Okay, so I didn’t worry about using quinoa flour, I just used regular all-purpose flour. The rest of the ingredients are pretty self-explanatory EXCEPT COOKED QUINOA! I horribly misjudged this situation and it was the downfall of these poor muffins.
It wasn’t my fault though 😦 I had to separately look up how to cook quinoa, because apparently the girl who writes the Poor Girl Eats Well blog keeps some sort of quinoa stockpile in her house so she doesn’t have to cook it every time. Since I was a first timer, I googled it and here’s what you should do:
How to Cook Quinoa
- Rinse it: If you’re me, and you don’t have a “fine-mesh sieve,” you’ll try to use a paper towel to catch the bits that fall through the bottom. They’re supposed to be tough when wet, right? Wrong. That paper towel will rip, and your quinoa will go down the drain. And on the counter. And the floor. You need a “fine-mesh sieve” which is just a strainer with super tiny holes.
- Cook quinoa in water: The ratio is 2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa. Wait for the water to boil, stir in the quinoa, turn the heat down low, and then wait for the liquid to be absorbed. You’ll know it’s done because it’ll look like it’s “popped.” It should be about 15 minutes, which would’ve been nice to know.
- Fluff it: I don’t think you really have to do this, especially since you’re mixing it into a batter. The directions I’m looking at (which are from eatingwell.com, by the way) say “quinoa loves a little pampering.” So you might be okay if you skip that.
NOW the most important thing to do here is MEASURE THE QUINOA AGAIN!! A cup of dry quinoa is not the same as a cup of cooked quinoa since it “popped” while it was in the water. This is a dumb thing to have to mention, but I didn’t think of it so I’m hoping there’s someone out there who’s as stupid as me.
Please at least pretend for me.
So, measure out a cup of your cooked quinoa, and just put that in the mixture with the rest of the ingredients. With the extra, start a stockpile like the author of Poor Girl Eats Well. Or feed it to your dog or your bird or the deer in your backyard. Or throw it out.
Long story short, this recipe may have worked pretty well if I was a little bit more experienced or was more aware of what I was doing. I may try this recipe again, but probably not until the quinoa nightmare wears off a bit. My mom is still finding little pieces of it all over the kitchen. I don’t even know how it got to some of the places we’ve seen it.
I hope this helps you if you come across this pin, or even if you’re trying to cook quinoa for some other recipe. And give me some feedback! This is my first real post, aside from my little intro one, so let me know what you think! I’m always going to be looking to know if I’m explaining things clearly, if I’m as funny as I think I am, or if there’s anything in particular you want me to try next. I appreciate any support you’re willing to give me, and I can’t wait to hear from you!
Stay wonderful ♥