Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby Foodie - Banana Quinoa Muffins

If you're not familiar with quinoa (KEEN-wah), it's a grain-like crop, considered a "pseudocereal" because it's not in the grass family.  It has a somewhat couscous/tapioca like texture with a nuttier flavor.  It's a complete protein source, so it's a nice substitute to rice or other grains, especially in vegetarian cooking.  In it's natural state, quinoa has a very bitter coating that you need to soak away, but most prepackaged versions are presoaked (though I usually do a quick rinse in a mesh strainer anyways.)  Quinoa is available at most grocery stores - you may need to look in the "natural foods" section.  Bob's Red Mill and Ancient Harvest are two common brands.

Quinoa is supposedly very easy to digest, so it's great for baby.  Conor has been eating quinoa cereal for a while and really likes it.  Also, because it's not in the grass family, it's more easily tolerated for those with certain allergy issues.  It's also gluten free.

This recipe was adapted from Martha.  Several quinoa muffin recipes I found used quinoa flakes or quinoa flour, but I like that this one uses whole quinoa.  It gives him a little more interesting texture to enjoy.  These muffins are super dense and moist.  I used a regular size muffin pan, but a mini muffin pan might be a great serving size for baby.  I bet they would freeze well, too - will try that and let you know.

2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups AP flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 350. 
Bring quinoa and 2/3 cup water to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 min, or until all the water is absorbed.  Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, milk, vanilla and banana.  Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Stir in cooked, cooled quinoa.
Divide batter into muffin pan lined with paper cups.
Bake 30 min, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition Facts
(Amount Per Muffin)
Calories 220.8
Total Fat 5.9 g
     Saturated Fat 0.9 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g
     Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 17.9 mg
Sodium 271.6 mg
Potassium 131.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Sugars 20.3 g
Protein 4.5 g

Conor LOVED them!  I think he actually consumed about 1/4 of a muffin, which is excellent for him.


  1. Conor your expressions crack Mimi up!! I've got to try these, they sound SO good and I've been consuming way to much "banana nut loaf" from Starbucks lately.

  2. hi there - linked here from Smitten Kitchen Baby - what a great idea for a muffin! I love quinoa and wasn't sure how to get my 10 mth old to try it! You have a beautiful son!

  3. Hi, I'm Jacy and I live in Saline just outside ann arbor. Since you talk about plum market and the arb, I assume you live nearby too. I was just wondering where you buy your quinoa at around here? do you get it at whole foods or somewhere? I would love to give some to my 18 mo dd


  4. Jacy,

    I have found quinoa at Kroger, usually it is in the "natural foods" section. I have also seen it at Plum Market, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's. I hope your daughter likes it!

  5. So easy & yummy :) Thanks!