Monday, March 08, 2010

Sweet Beginnings

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. I love every kind of traditional breakfast food from pancakes and omelettes to bagels and bacon. Despite this fact, I find myself eating the same two or three things for breakfast every day, which I imagine is true for most people. If I have time to make oatmeal, it's usually my go to breakfast, otherwise it's yogurt and granola or cold cereal. Snore-fest. This summer I came across a quinoa crunch in Body and Soul magazine that I thought would be a perfect change for my granola boredom. I made up my own version and it was so easy to make!

All you need to do is toss 2 cups of uncooked quinoa into a large bowl and stir in 2 Tbls. of almond oil and 2 Tbls. of maple syrup (I use Trader Joe's Maple agave blend since it has less sugar). Spread this sticky mixture onto a Silpat on your baking sheet and bake it for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on it, as the quinoa will burn quickly! It should be lightly toasted. Once it cools, you can crumble it up like granola! I love to toss this into my Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, yum!

While the crunch is a healthy and tasty alternative to granola (which can be high in sugar and fat if you don't read the label), sometimes you just want to go all out. While I do try my very best to eat well, there are days when I just want sweets for breakfast and I won't feel badly about it! These muffins are just the thing. Honestly on those days, anything Ina is just the thing. She's as bad as Paula when it comes to butter and sugar! I did do a bit of tweaking to add some more whole wheat and cut a little fat, but these were so moist and delicious, I wouldn't do anything else to them!

Banana Crunch Muffins
Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
3/4 c. skim milk
2 extra ripe bananas, mashed
1 extra ripe banana, chopped
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. coconut
1/2 c. quinoa crunch

Line muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.
Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, quinoa crunch, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter evenly into paper liners. Top each muffin with coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. 


Sweet and Savory said...

I did something similar with pecans and it was a great snack.

Interested in a giveaway for cookware?

Pierce said...

Thanks for the great comments on my blog! I am perusing your recipes and love what I am seeing :-)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

What a great alternative for breakie! I haven't tried toasting quinoa before.
Love Ina's recipes, she is great.

Danielle said...

i love muffins that crunch. I have some bananas that need to be baked...I think this recipe is calling my name

Joanne said...

mmm I love the idea of quinoa granola! This takes whole grain cooking to a whole new level. Great idea.

those muffins look fantastic! The perfect breakfast treat.

cookies and cups said...

I love Ina! These look so yummm!

Lynn said...

I love your blog -- such fun recipe! I'm intrigued about your banana French toast. Have you posted about that? I'd love more specifics about how you make it :) Can you tell, I am hungry?