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Posts Tagged ‘baking with quinoa’

Healthy cookies? Really? Other than a “dieting baker” there may be no greater oxymoron in the world of sugar and flour than the term “healthy cookies.” Since one of my sons is getting married next year, I’ve started watching pesky calories, which in turn, means not a morsel of cookie has passed through my lips in a while. Well, that is until this morning! I whipped up a batch of these soft, yet crunchy, cookies earlier in the day, sampled one and totally enjoyed my wholesome and almost guilt-free treat! Made with cooked quinoa, whole wheat flour, oats, coconut, and a trifecta of seeds – sunflower, sesame, and flax – they are indeed “healthier cookies.”

Healthy Cookies
From Quinoa 365 by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

Ingredients:
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/3 cup flax (ground or whole seeds)
1/3 cup sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 6 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Cream the butter with the brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add the oats, cooked quinoa, coconut, sunflower seeds, flax and sesame seeds to the flour mixture and stir until well blended. Combine with the butter mixture and stir until well mixed.

5. Roll the dough into 1-1/2-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand.

6. Bake on the center oven rack for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are light brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

7. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 5 dozen.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Don’t forget to rinse the quinoa before cooking it. This needs to be done to remove the saponin coating on the grains or else they will taste bitter.

2. I only stock steel cut or rolled oats in my pantry, so to make quick-cooking oats, I just put some of the rolled oats into my food processor and whirled them a bit to break down the flakes.

3. Like walnuts and pecans, sesame seeds are more flavorful when they are toasted. Toast some in advance and then put them in the freezer for later use.

4. Cover the cookie sheets with parchment paper to make sure the cookies don’t stick. Don’t forget that parchment paper can be reused. After baking and cooling I wipe the paper down and store them on the baking sheets.

5. To handle the sticky dough, moisten your hands with water first. Re-wet hands as often as needed.

Enjoy!

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My husband receives the same Father’s Day gift every year, yet he never complains about it and he always delights in it. More impressively, he thinks I planned his gift pretty darn well. So here’s what his perennial gift is – it’s our daughter! She was born on Father’s Day over two decades ago and ever since then, I just haven’t been able to top that gift!

Since my hubby already knows what his gift is and since Father’s Day is just a few weeks away, I’ve started thinking about what items I’m going to serve him to make his brunch extra special. Wanting to serve him something healthy, yet tasty, I searched my infamous stacks of clippings and came across this Martha Stewart recipe for Quinoa Muffins. Interestingly, this recipe calls for using whole cooked quinoa seeds instead of quinoa flour.

Quinoa, as you will recall from my previous Quinoa Shrimp Salad post, is a tiny Peruvian seed that is a complete food and contains a balanced set of amino acids. It is also gluten-free (however, this muffin recipe is not). It’s a staple in my pantry and I continue to search for interesting quinoa recipes. Don’t forget to rinse quinoa with clear running water prior to cooking it to remove the bitter protective coating.

Martha Stewart’s Quinoa Muffins:

Ingredients
* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
* 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
* 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup raisins**
* 3/4 cup whole milk
* 1 large egg
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

**I used 1/2 cup of mixed dried fruit: blueberries, currants, and orange-flavored craisins.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 13 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins, and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Makes 12.

Linnell’s Note: Despite their chicken pox appearance, these muffins were surprisingly crunchy on the outside and very moist on the inside. It’s a good basic recipe that lends itself to many possible variations. I will be making these again and will try substituting organic blue agave sweetener for the sugar, a banana for the oil, and will add some cinnamon and nutmeg. I’ll let you know how my experiments turn out. Oh, and if I’m lucky and my husband is even luckier, we’ll get our food-loving second son to make his fabulous Crab Benedict for Father’s Day brunch!

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