Tag Archives: walnuts

Mini Quinoa Breakfast Muffins (vegan, gluten free)

11 Apr

Easter brunch has become an annual tradition in our family.  It’s awesome, for many reasons.  Mainly, because my family is the coolest family around and because I get to COOK and BAKE up a frenzy! yippee!!!  Honestly, it’s like Thanksgiving’s half birthday to me…. in brunch form.  This year we had a couple friends join us too, and the weather cooperated so we could gather outside to eat.. mmmmm…. love the morning sun.  I got up at 6:30, had my coffee, and started cooking for our 10am brunch.  On the menu were many tasty things including a M’hanncha (Moroccan Snake Cake – I’ll post the recipe for this one soon!), a wild mushroom and leek frittata with a rutabaga parsnip crust; a sundried tomato, spinach, and queso fresco frittata; breakfast potatoes; fruit salad, and mini quinoa muffins.  I always use the excuse of holiday gatherings or food get togethers to try out new recipe ideas… some people call this ballsy or brave, but I just consider it creative and adventurous! I guess I’m pretty confident that my recipes won’t totally fail… but often there’s room for improvement.  ;)

Anyways, for this post I’m going to tell you about these quinoa muffins that I made for brunch.  BITE SIZE quinoa muffins.  Now, I have to warn you… if you are a batter taster… beware.  I could literally eat this batter for breakfast. SO tasty! Actually, really really healthy too, so you really could eat it for breakfast! hmmm….   well either way, if you don’t eat all the batter first, they also make really good muffins.  Super healthy little tidbits, packed with protein! The quinoa taste definitely shines through but the rice milk dulls down its “earthy/nutty” flavor just the right amount to balance these muffins without having to add too much sugar.   Feel free to play around with add-ins… I added mixed dried fruit and walnuts, but just plain raisins or dried apples would be really nice, or whatever else you fancy!  :)

Ingredients:
makes about 30 mini muffins
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup quinoa (measure dry, will be more when cooked)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit (or just your favorite dried fruit or raisins)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unflavored rice milk (coconut, soy or almond would work too, but I like the rice flavor in these)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter (softened)
  • 2 flax “eggs” – 2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water (egg replacer)

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water, set aside when all water is absorbed and it’s done cooking.
  3. Mix together flaxseed meal and water, set aside  and mix occasionally (it will become somewhat gelatinous)
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, spices, and salt.  Stir in the walnuts and dried fruit.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar, rice milk, vanilla and softened coconut butter.  Stir in the flax “eggs”. Blend until well combined.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix until well combined.
  7. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin, and spoon ingredients into prepared tin. (I had to do several batches)
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until each muffin has set (should feel slightly spongy, but bounce back).  Remove from oven and enjoy!!

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Chocolate Cookies

30 Mar
My friend and I had planned a 5 day rock climbing trip to the Owens River Gorge in Bishop, CA. We were originally going to make our way up to Smith Rock, in Oregon, but the weather defeated us.  Smith Rock will have to wait for another time… sigh.  Owens is our staple sport climbing area, so we weren’t too upset about the change of plans… I mean, you can’t beat it… incredible basalt rock, tremendous variety and amount of climbing, a BEAUTIFUL setting.. and all within just a scenic 6 hour drive.  Love.

A shot from the drive on the other side of the Sierras…. love the colors.

As always, it’s important to have snacks and treats on these climbing trips!  I usually like to bake something that will be delicious and healthy, yet energizing…. and vegan is a nice option because they usually stay good longer.  So this time, a variation on the staple oatmeal raisin cookie!  Yummmm.  Of course I added walnuts and chocolate because they are both powerhouse ingredients.  Coconut milk and olive oil keep these tasty morsels moist and chewy.  I must say, these little guys might be my favorite “healthy” cookie yet… and are by far my favorite that I’ve made in a long while!  They are seriously amazing, slightly crispy edges with a chewy center, and packed with flavor.  They are a must try recipe!  As I write about these cookies, we have just come off the first climbing day of our trip (which was filled with amazing climbing, as usual) and these cookies definitely came in handy…. now I only wish I made more….

Ingredients:
makes about 24 cookies (approx. 2″ diameter)
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp coconut milk (you could use almond or soy if you don’t have coconut)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • optional – sprinkle of salt on top of each cookie

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Put walnuts into a food processor and process until just lightly ground, some will become powdery, but there should be small chunks (no bigger than the size of your pinky nail).
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, 1 cupoats (save the other cup for later), cinnamon, and brown sugar.
  4. Add the walnuts, raisins and chocolate chips to the dry mixture and mix together.
  5. In a small bowl add the olive oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla, and mix until well combined.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix thoroughly.
  7. Mix in the remaining 1 cup of oats by stirring or use your hands.
  8. Gather a small ball of dough (somewhere between the size of a ping pong ball and golf ball), and then flatten with your hands. Dip your hands in water to help keep them from sticking.
  9. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven let cool and enjoy!

 

Cranberry Walnut Flax Biscotti

7 Mar

Biscotti are so versatile. They can be made with almost any of your choice ingredients… a couple of combinations I’ve been thinking about doing next are apricot+almond, pistachio+chocolate, plum+cashew, chocolate+espresso… mmmm so simple, yet so delicious.  This recipe in particular is packed full of tasty healthy ingredients.. I originally set out to do just plain cranberries and walnuts, but at the last minute… I got crazy.  Not only did I decide to throw in golden flax seeds, I also threw in poppy seeds and chia seeds! yum yum yum.. I love chia. It’s incredible to me that so many nutrients can be packed into such a tiny seed…

My intention was to half dip these in dark chocolate after they baked, but they disappeared too fast! Maybe the next batch….

Anyways, no matter what ingredients you decide to throw in, stick to the base recipe, and you’ll be set! I came up with this recipe because I wanted a lower fat (or, should I say, one that contains only healthy monounsaturated fat), less guilt biscotti recipe that was still delicious, of course! Plus, lots of omegas. I love omegas. Enjoy them crunchy, or coffee dipped!

Ingredients:

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 to 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup lightly chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp poppyseed
  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 2 tbsp flax seed (whole, not flaxseed meal)

Process:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder; then gradually stir into egg mixture.
  4. Mix in cranberries and nuts and seeds (you might have to use your hands).
  5. Divide dough in half. Form two logs (about 12×2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, and flatten the logs slightly. (Dough might be sticky, you can wet your hands with cool water to handle dough more easily if you need to).
  6. Bake for 35 minutes at 300 F, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes (cooling is important, it helps keep them from crumbling when you cut them). Reduce oven heat to 275 F.
  7. After cooled for about 10 mins, cut logs on a diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry.
  8. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy!