Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins (Clean)

School is starting up again, and as always, I’ve got a batch of muffins in my fridge to allow for easy school-snacking. A muffin (or two) a day keeps the school stress away.

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So – why are these chocolate chip quinoa muffins so perfect as on-the-go snacks? Let’s talk quinoa.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-WAH) is a seed, though it’s often used as a grain. It’s gluten-free, with a tiny amount of fat, but more importantly, it’s a complete protein, making it an ideal protein source for all the vegetarians and vegans out there. A cup of quinoa gives you 222 calories, along with 8.1g protein and 58% of your RDA for magnese. It’s fibrous with a low glycemic index, keeping you full for a longer period of time, which is why I am oh-so-grateful for having these with me during school and getting me through the classes leading up to lunch.

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Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) cooled, cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (130g) light rye flour (Or more white whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered stevia
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

*If you want a sweeter muffin, feel free to add in a bit of honey/coconut sugar and adjust to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together quinoa, flours, stevia, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, buttermilk, egg, greek yoghurt, and vanilla extract until smooth
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the smooth mixture and stir until just combined, before folding in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix
  5. Transfer the mixture into a lined muffin/cupcake tin and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Allow to cool and enjoy!
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Chocolate Caramel Coconut Breakfast Quinoa (Clean)

Chocolate Caramel Coconut. Damn, that’s a mouthful (Ha. Get it?).

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True, more flavors don’t necessarily result in better tastes, but in this case, it definitely does. How could you possible go wrong with chocolate and caramel and coconut?

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I’m not gonna lie and say that I didn’t have a foodgasm when I took my first bite of this. I can not stress how well all the flavors worked together and how super creamy the quinoa is. Normally, quinoa is cooked at a ratio of 1 part quinoa and 2 parts liquid (water), but guess what I had here? I had 1/2 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cup water, and then I added another cup of coconut milk, which resulted in a creaminess similar to creamy oatmeal recipes. If you want a creamy breakfast quinoa where coconut is the star of the bowl, then be sure to check out this nutty coconut quinoa!

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The caramel taste comes from this 2-ingredient easy date caramel, which I’ve been adding to everything recently. I know it seems like a lot of work to make a recipe in order to make a recipe, but as you can see from the title, the caramel only requires 2 ingredients, and it takes about 5 minutes to make. Plus, it’s multi-purpose (see the post).

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And where do I get started on the toppings? The chopped chocolate goes slightly melty when it comes into contact with the steaming hot quinoa, so that it quite literally melts in your mouth. The texture of the chocolate contrasts with the crunch from the nuts and cacao nibs and OMG YUM.

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Notes: The honey/agave nectar is kinda optional, depending on how sweet you want your quinoa. Feel free to replace it with your favorite sweetener, to increase it, or even to omit it altogether. Also, you don’t have to use the same toppings as me, but I highly recommend you at least use nuts, cacao nibs, and chopped chocolate.

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Breakfast Quinoa

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tsp raw honey/agave syrup
  • 2 tsp date caramel
  • Pinch of salt
  • Toppings (I used chopped pecans, chopped chocolate unsweetened shredded coconut, almond flakes, cacao nibs)

Method

  1. In a large pot, combine the uncooked quinoa and water and set the pot over medium-high heat until the water is boiling. Lower temperature to low heat and allow to cook until all the water has absorbed, stirring occasionally (approximately 10-15 minutes)
  2. Stir the coconut milk, cacao powder, date caramel, and salt into the pot and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the quinoa has reached your desired consistency
  3. Transfer into bowls and serve immediately with your desired toppings. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 5 days

Honey Almond Quinola (Clean)

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Oh the relief of Spring Break.

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It’s timed perfectly this year. Beijing’s at that point where it’s generally 10-20 degrees, except this period will last less than a week. Spring and Autumn are practically non-existent in Beijing, which is hella depressing, especially since they’re my favorite seasons.

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Naturally, I decided to make a batch of granola. This time, I used uncooked quinoa as well as oats. I’ll admit, I was pretty skeptical about it at first, but it turns out that it adds a different texture. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll understand once you’ve tried it. I’m calling it quinola. I’m so creative.

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Throw on some vanilla soy milk ❤ (Pour on the Goodness!)

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Notes: Granola is one of the most customizable recipes ever, so you could use pecans instead of almonds, you could omit the spices and chia seeds, etc.

Honey Almond Quinola

Adapted from Pastry Affair

Makes 5-6 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (180 grams) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (170 grams) quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup (120 grams) sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup (78 ml) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup (170 grams) honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white, whisked lightly until foamy (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, or 325 degrees fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, quinoa, almonds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  3. In another bowl, mix the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, salt, and egg white
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until everything is well mixed
  5. Spread the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes
  6. Store in an airtight container

Nutty Coconut Quinoa (Clean)

I used to have oatmeal for breakfast everyday, and quinoa occasionally for lunch. Now, quinoa is like my second oatmeal. It’s so so so delicious, especially in this recipe.

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The recipe makes a larger batch, so you could share it at breakfast with your friends/family, or you could do what I do.

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Since quinoa takes longer to cook than oatmeal does, I prefer having these pre-cooked when I wake up early to go to school, while I can make oatmeal on the spot. Therefore, after making this, I’ll place the leftovers into an airtight container in the fridge. For breakfast, I’ll just add in a splash of soy milk and throw on a bunch of toppings.

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Nutty Coconut Quinoa

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (414ml) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Chopped nuts and shredded coconut/coconut flakes for topping

Method:

  1. Stir the coconut milk and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat
  2. Turn the heat down to low and add in the quinoa
  3. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa
  4. Stir in the almond butter and maple syrup
  5. Serve with chopped nuts and shredded coconut/coconut flakes, or your toppings of choiceDSC_0643.