Recipe: Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins

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It’s been fun getting more comfortable with baking over the past year and a half.  While I’m still nowhere near the level of some my more baking-capable friends, I no longer fear things like precisely measured baking powder or overworking my dough.  Like the old adage says, practice makes perfect, and while perfection still has a long way to be attained, I’m far less reluctant to tackle a from-scratch baking project now.

I think it helps that I’ve sort of found my own personal baking niche, one that helps me feel at ease in a world of such exactitude (I’m far more comfortable in the carefree environment of regular cooking, where I can throw pinches of this and dashes of that together and minutes later, it’s awesome).  Somehow, my love for quinoa has opened up a whole new world of baking possibilities for me, and the more I experiment, the less likely it is that I’ll stop.  Just today I wrote down eleven ideas for quinoa baked goods, and I may just throw caution to the wind someday and whip out a quinoa-only cookbook.

But I digress.

Part of why I like throwing quinoa into things like muffins & cakes is that it gives everything an extremely moist texture that’s downright irresistible.  Sure, the knowledge that I’m enjoying a sweet treat with a complete protein inside is nice, but I just really like the way it makes baked goods turn out: rich and impossibly moist.

This latest venture into baking with the mother grain proved even more exciting than the first two, since I pretty much winged it.  I had originally hoped to use my other quinoa muffin recipe as a guide, but my server was having issues and I couldn’t access the recipe (reason #23409147 Poor Girl needs to write a book: so I can refer to my own recipes when I need them!).  Feeling confident that I couldn’t do too much damage with old standbys like strawberries, bananas, and cooked quinoa, I got to work.

I found these to be remarkably quick & easy to make.  The longest you’ll spend on any part of the process is cooking the quinoa, and if you’re the type that cooks it up in big batches like I do, you’re already halfway home.  I still had some quinoa flour left over from a previous recipe experiment for the book, so I used that in the first batch of muffins, marking my very first gluten-free baking project.  *cue appreciative smattering of applause*  However, I realize that not everyone has access to the bulk section of my co-op, so if you don’t have any gluten sensitivities, feel free to use whole wheat flour instead.

The rest is simple: just some extremely ripe bananas and plenty of fresh, sweet strawberries, along with the other usual muffin-making suspects.  I kept the flour to a bare minimum, since the cooked quinoa would also help to hold everything together, and despite the fact that I have some frozen berries in ye olde freezer, I made sure to use the remaining fresh berries I had from my strawberry & blood orange popsicle making last week.  Frozen strawberries are fine in a pinch, but personally, I prefer biting into bits of fresh berries when I enjoy my muffin.  The texture is great and the unexpected juicy sweetness is always a pleasant surprise.

A couple final notes: these are very filling, so keep them small.  You don’t have to make them mini muffin small (though they’d be pretty awesome), but standard cupcake/muffin size is just perfect for these.  Why?  Because they’re very rich & dense, thanks to the fresh ingredients and all that quinoa.  They’re very deceiving little muffins, so it’s best to keep them small rather than whipping out the big muffin tin.  Because they’re so filling and packed with protein, these would be great for a quick breakfast on the go, so making these on a Sunday to enjoy throughout the workweek is a great plan.  And at just $0.30 per muffin, this beats anything you’ll be able to grab at Starbucks or at some fast food joint!  And now, the recipe…

Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins (makes 12 muffins; total cost per muffin: $0.30)

1 1/3 c quinoa flour (whole wheat or all purpose is fine if you don’t have access to quinoa flour)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T melted butter
1 t vanilla extract
2 medium overripe bananas, mashed
1 c cooked quinoa
1 c finely chopped fresh strawberries
1-2 strawberries, thinly sliced (optional for garnish)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°.  Prepare a muffin or cupcake tin with cooking spray or muffin liners.  In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.  In a separate, larger bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs & vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Mix in the dry flour mixture a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring together until completely incorporated.

2.  When all the flour has been mixed in, add the mashed bananas and the quinoa, and mix well.  Add the chopped strawberries (juice & all!) and fold into the muffin batter.  Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.  Place one strawberry slice on top of each muffin, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

3.  Remove from oven and cool for a couple of minutes before removing muffins from pan.  Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, or until ready to serve.  Serve for brunch or take some with you to for a quick weekday breakfast, and enjoy!

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singer. writer. artist. champagne taste, 2 buck chuck budget. good cook. kooky. chocoholic. patron saint of cats. talker. listener. thinker. sometimes to a fault.

28 Responses to "Recipe: Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins"

  1. Lyn @LovelyPantry says:

    Ah! So healthy! Quinoa is my favourite grain and I just started baking with quinoa flour. This recipe looks great! :-)

  2. Sarah says:

    I love baking with quinoa! These look delicious. I totally agree with the moist thing – quinoa flour gives a really light, fluffy texture as well.

  3. Sharon says:

    Very interesting… Can’t wait to try these. So, does the quinoa flour rise like the all purpose or wheat flour? I’ve got a grain mill so I can grind my quinoa and would love to use that as it’s so much healthier than regular flour!! Can’t say enough, how much I enjoy your sight and love trying your recipies!!

  4. vif says:

    I made these yesterday and used whole wheat flour and frozen raspberries instead of the quinoa flour and strawberries. I would suggest using less of the flour if you’re not using the quinoa flour, because they came out very dry. They are otherwise good and I will definitely make them again!

  5. Nikki says:

    These were so good. So so so good. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’m amazed that you came up with it on your own! I am not a baker…I don’t do measurements, haha, so I’d never be able to create a bakery recipe!

    I disagree on the dryness. Perhaps the person above me packed the measuring cup? I did a scoop and sweep when I measured my flour! I used regular white flour.

    Would it be ok if I blog your recipe, giving you full credit with a link back?

    Thank you!

  6. harmony says:

    loved them the first time around, gonna add blueberry or peanut butter this time.

  7. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal says:

    These look great! I’m deciding whether I should make the purchase of quinoa flour or stick with whole wheat. I’m new to this ! hah, either way, these will be made soon.

  8. Jacqui Gonzales says:

    I love to bake, but am relearning how to do it with healthier ingredients. If you use whole wheat flour, you will need to add an additional egg. It’s the density of the flour. You shouldn’t need this if you use whole wheat pastry flour. You won’t run into this problem with all purpose flour. If you aren’t comfortable with traditional all purpose flour, I suggest whole wheat pastry flour or ORGANIC all purpose flour (it’s ground down like original all purpose flour, but none of the stuff that the government adds back in.)

    • Kimberly Morales says:

      Great tips, Jacqui! I’ve said many times before that baking is definitely not my forté (I’m more of a savory foods or cold desserts type of cook), so it’s great to learn the difference between the whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour. Hope everyone else found this as helpful as I did! :)

  9. April H says:

    Just made these today! It’s only my 2nd time ever using quinoa and I under cooked it a bit, but these were still delicious! I made them “mini” sized since they are mainly snacks for my 1, 3, and 5 year old. We are still transitioning over to “whole foods”, and I used 1 c. AP flour with 1/3c wheat flour. Thanks so much for sharing! This is going into my “tried and true” recipe binder right away!

  10. kris says:

    This recipe is what first drew me to your website, and I finally had the ingredients on hand to make them yesterday. Delicious! The only thing I changed was to add a little cinnamon, which I do to most baked goods. My kids (both 2) LOVED them! And how could I feel bad about giving them such a healthy treat, packed with protein and love?

    Thanks! Love, love, LOVE this site! I use it all the time now and really look forward to the book coming out.

  11. Hai says:

    I made these yesterday with all purpose flour and they were so yummy. I had to stop my friends from eating them all. Thank you for sharing such a simple recipe.

  12. Anne says:

    I made these back in February as written (yum!) and made them again this week….with some new flavors. Fiance wanted apple-cinnamon, so we used I cup chopped granny smith apple instead of the strawberries, 1 cup unsweetened applesauce instead of the bananas, and 1 tbp. cinnamon. yum yum yum! I’ve been eating them for breakfast all week…

  13. Becky says:

    I made these last night, and they turned out great! Thank you for sharing. I have been cooking as gluten-free as possible, since my husband is showing signs of an intolerance. This is a very easy and delicious recipe for a gluten-free breakfast treat :) Thanks!

  14. bbyntr says:

    I just tasted one of these, actually I gobbled it down, at my daughter’s yesterday and they are fabulous. I have a friend that can’t have regular flour in anything so I am passing this recipe on to her. Good job!!!

  15. Laura Hall says:

    A bit more work than the typical muffin, but worth it for the nutrient-dense result! I substituted blueberries since my kiddos finished off all of our strawberries yesterday (they tend to do that). Topped them with a raspberry for an extra color punch. Hubby, my 8 year old son and I love them, but my very picky 6 year old? Not so much… even with all of the banana and blueberries, she still picked up on the quinoa bitterness (even after rinsing). But I’ll still making them again. ;)

  16. Claire says:

    Thanks so much for posting this – super tasty and nutrition packed muffins! Making them for about the fifth time today and have switched up a few things, thought I would share: swapped olive oil or canola oil 1 1/2 T for butter, swapped agave for some of the sugar, added 2 T chia seeds, and as berries are in season added blueberries, cherries and raspberries! My husband asked for a double batch :)

  17. Rob says:

    I have been following the season with this recipe. Went from strawberry to blueberry to raspberry & blackberry. Plan to try peach & baked apple. Thank you. Every morning starts with 2 of your muffins

  18. Kathryn says:

    I whipped these up this morning before work. Based on other comments (and the fact that I was using whole wheat flour), I added an extra egg. They turned out great. Next time I will add a little cinnamon too.

  19. badapplebettie says:

    Made these for the first time tonight and they turned just as you described — super dense and moist. I used AP flour because that’s all I had on hand, but next time I’ll likely use whole wheat and will add the extra egg as one of your other readers suggested. Thanks for another great recipe!

  20. Aimee says:

    I made these today. The texture was beautiful and hearty. The only thing I would suggest would be to add some 1 tsp of cinnamon or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger to help mask the typical bitterness of the quinoa. Like a previous comment, although I liked them, my kids – not so much. The bitterness got them.

  21. Melanie says:

    I just made these using 1 cup spelt flour 1/3 cup coconut flour , an extra egg, tri-color quinoa and a bit of cinnamon. Used mini muffin tins….still cooling waiting for the kids to come home. Hopefully they meet good reviews!

  22. Jessica says:

    i’m liking these, so delicious, but almost too most, kind of puddingy. But I don’t care, they taste so good. The bananas were plenty sweet… almost didn’t need the sugar. I wonder how an addition of yogurt would taste.

  23. Dori says:

    My kids LOVE these and quinoa is new to them. I accidentally added 2 cups of strawberries the first time I made them so now I make them like that all the time. I didn’t have quinoa flour so used all-purpose flour and they’re very moist and delicious. No quinoa bitterness?

  24. Trisha says:

    I made these this afternoon, and they turned out great, except that they totally stuck to the paper muffin tin liners :( Not sure what I did wrong, I’m new to the whole baking thing so any tips would help. I used apple Sauce instead of bananas and WW flour so not sure of that would be why. None the less they taste great, my little girl love the strawberries and I love that she can get the nutritional benefits of quinoa without her knowing! Ha! such a fuss pot!

  25. Hilary says:

    I’ve made these muffins so many times! I love them! I found this recipe through another blog that linked to yours. I’ve reposted the recipe on my blog, hoping that more people can enjoy them as much as we all do!

  26. Lora says:

    Made these last night – used chocolate chips instead of strawberries. They turned out really well – my kids (2 & 4 yo), my husband, and I loved them. I calculated them to be about 190 calories per muffin… Thanks!

  27. Korri says:

    This would taste fantastic with some added lemon zest!


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