These quinoa muffins are perfect to make for picnics or to put on salads. They can be prepared in advanced and even stored in the freezer for later use. Muffins are also a great way to hide vegetables for those less willing to indulge in whole veggies.
Source of protein
Quinoa is known for being a good plant based protein source. It is known to contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health. Amino acids support strong muscles, keep our immune system in tip-top shape and have a big contribution towards keeping our bodies healthy (Source).
Despite being listed as a gluten free protein source, quinoa is still considered a grain and sources are somewhat contradictory. I thus suggest you try it and see the effects it has on your body. In fact, unlike other grains, I find I do tolerate it if taken moderately. In any case, it is always better than having couscous, rice or pasta :)
Three types of Quinoa
3 types of quinoa exist and all provide the same nutritional values and cook for roughly the same time. There is white, red or black quinoa and the choice is up to your preference. Red and black quinoa can be more crunchy and take slightly longer to cook.
Recipe Vegan Alternatives
For a vegan alternative remember to replace eggs with chia seeds. 1 egg can be replaced with 1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes so that the chia seeds can grow and form a sticky gel.
Instead of cheese, you can use nutritional yeast. In fact, nutritional yeast is often used as a vegan alternative for parmesan cheese on pizza or other recipes. Nutritional yeast is another great source of protein, fibre and B vitamins (source).
This recipe makes about 22 muffins. You can use half the ingredients if you want 12 muffins. Otherwise, you could make the recipe as is and freeze the extra ones for future use.
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- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 cups quinoa (I used 3 colour quinoa)
- 6 eggs (for vegan replace with a mixture of 6 tablespoons chia seeds and 18 tablespoons water)
- 10 olives
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons mixed herbs
- 1 tablespoon ground oregano
- 80g white cheese (I used local cheeslet/gbejna)
- salt and pepper
- Start by cooking the butternut squash. You can make this ahead of time. Cut the butternut squash in half, place in in the oven, skin facing heat source and bake for 40 minutes.
- In the meantime boil the quinoa in a double amount of water. Use 4 cups water for 2 cups quinoa and stir occasionally. This should take between 10 to 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
- If you are using chia seeds instead of eggs, prepare the water and chia seeds mixture in advance.
- When the butternut squash is ready, remove the skin and mash the pulp with a fork.
- Add the quinoa and other ingredients to the squash and mix well together until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to a lined muffin tray or use silicon muffin moulds. Silicone moulds will ensure the muffins do not stick when it's time to remove the wrapper.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes at 200°C or gas mark 6.
- Enjoy warm or cold. Freeze extra ones for later use.