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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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