Is it a good or a bad sign that these carrot quinoa muffins were the highlight of our weekend trip to New York City? I’m going to say a very good sign. We had an amazing weekend visiting friends, attending an awesome, dance-filled wedding, walking all over lower Manhattan, eating great food, and drinking delicious coffee. Quite a lot to fit in to 72 hours. Luckily, on our first morning in town, we were able to take a relaxing morning with my friend Jess to make breakfast together.
Jess made these carrot quinoa muffins from The Clean Plates Cookbook, a cookbook dedicated to making simple, delicious food that is good for your body and for the planet. As Jess started putting together ingredients, I was amazed by how many great things filled these muffins. Quinoa, eggs, and yogurt provide a big boost of protein, while spelt flour and coconut palm sugar lend a nuttiness and depth of flavor, and walnuts satisfy that need for a little crunch. They were truly amazing.
VERY lucky for us, Jess sent us on our way with a few of these muffins to chow down on through the rest of our journey. We didn’t realize how much we would come to need those muffins later as we battled New Jersey transit, found ourself famished after long walks through Manhattan, and just made it onto the airplane on time after leaving a little late for the airport (it’s so hard to say good bye to friends!!). Needless to say, these muffins were not the stars because the rest of the weekend was dull, but because they fueled us through some really great times. A sign of success.
You’d think we’d be finished with these muffins, but as soon as we returned to North Carolina, we were ready to eat them again, so I whipped up another batch as a thank-you for a friend that was the other life-saver of the weekend, and thought I would share these muffins with you all.
There are some funny ingredients, but the muffins come together beautifully and easily. Read the notes regarding ingredients, but in brief, I found that these muffins are forgiving if you don’t have coconut palm sugar (the most difficult to obtain ingredient in the recipe), and take well to substitutions. Give these guys a try the next time you need a filling breakfast, are going on a long hike, or need some extra energy to power you through a brisk Fall day.
- 12 muffin tins
- ¾ cup dried quinoa
- 1 cup (85g) carrots
- 4 oz // 115 g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup // 6oz plain yogurt (full fat, please!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and ¾ cups // 215 g spelt flour
- ½ cup // 75g coconut palm sugar (or equal weight of alternative sweetener)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt.
- ½ cup // 90g unsweetened raisins, currants, cranberries, or apricots (chop apricots to raisin-sized pieces)
- ⅔ cup // 80g chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Butter 12 muffin tins or use silicone muffin liners
- Soak and cook ¾ cup dried quinoa to yield 1.5 cups cooked quinoa. (See directions for cooking quinoa below)
- Shred 1 cup (85g) carrots with a box grater.
- In a large bowl combine:
- oz // 115 g unsalted butter, melted
- large eggs
- /4 cup // 6oz plain yogurt (full fat, please!)
- teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a second bowl, combine:
- and ¾ cups // 215 g spelt flour
- /2 cup // 75g coconut palm sugar (or equal weight of alternative sweetener)
- teaspoons ground cinnamon
- teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
- /2 teaspoon fine sea salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients (from the second bowl) to the liquid ingredients and stir until just shy of combined.
- Gently add to the mixture and stir just until combined:
- and ½ cup // 270 g cooked quinoa
- cup // 85 g shredded carrots
- /2 cup // 90g unsweetened raisins, currants, cranberries, or apricots (chop apricots to raisin-sized pieces)
- /3 cup // 80g chopped walnuts
- Fill muffin tins to the top. Bake until muffin tops are golden brown and set, ~15-18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from the pan and let cool thoroughly.
How to cook quinoa:
- Rinse quinoa seeds a few times under water, then place in a pot with excess water and a squeeze of lemon juice for 8-12 hours.
- Drain the rinse water, and refill the pot with water (about 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa).
- Cook on medium high heat, boiling off the majority of the water.
- After ~20 minutes, once the quinoa has swelled and you see a curly-q on the quinoa grains, turn off the heat! You may have to drain the excess water for the recipe above.