January 9, 2013

Sweet Potato Quinoa Muffins

I know what you're thinking (because I'm psychic, of course). Two recipes with quinoa in a row? What the crapperdoodle is with these shenanagins?

And I know you used the word shenanigans, because it is an awesome word. As is crapperdoodle, which is a Kim-made-it-up special.

There are two main reasons for the sudden influx of quinoa. The first is because someone decided it was a good idea to buy a giant 30lb bag of quinoa, even though he'd never made it before and has no idea what to do with it other than just cook it plain. (Okay, so it was a 4lb bag, but 4lbs of uncooked quinoa is a lot of frickin' quinoa).

The second is because it's January and everyone is on their New Year's resolution diets. Normally that wouldn't bother me, but everyone is all whine whine you're ruining my diet whine whine OMG, you know I shouldn't eat this stuff whine whine whine your pictures make me so hungry that I have to go and stuff my face. And even though I argue that just because it's there, doesn't mean you have to eat it, it's still all my fault.

So with everyone whining for healthy stuff, and me with a surplus of super healthy quinoa, it seemed logical to kill two birds with one stone (Mr. Spock, eat your heart out). And the fact that quinoa is easy to make in large batches and keeps well in the fridge doesn't hurt.
Though traditionally served like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed, similar to couscous in terms of texture. It's high in protein, amino acids, and vitamins, and it has a nutty sort of flavor. It's nutritional value has made it the new "it" food in health and fitness circles.

So I took the vitamin-rich quinoa, combined it with vitamin-rich sweet potato and put it into a whole wheat muffin. Because I care about your health. And it got people to stop whining. But mostly the first thing.
These are pretty short and ugly muffins. I made the batter way too thick (I fixed that for you in the recipe. You're welcome), and they didn't rise much. But instead of being dense like I expected, they were soft and as packed with flavor as they were with nutrition. I'm not the hugest fan of sweet potatoes, so these aren't exactly my favorite. But they got some rave reviews from the people I fed them to, so I guess they turned out pretty good.

I hope the New Year's resolution dieters are satisfied. I'm not sure how long I can keep up these healthy recipes. I'm starting to feel vaguely itchy.
 Sweet Potato Quinoa Muffins {Printable Version}
 Yield: 20 muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. nutmeg
Heaping 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt,
baking soda, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients, except the quinoa, until smooth and well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the quinoa. Divide the batter equally between 20 muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool on wire racks.

Recipe by Kim