A while back I ran across Willow's blog in the middle of the night while Skye was snacking and I was trying desperately to stay awake long enough to get her safely back into her bassinet. Even in my sleep deprived stupor I was struck by her gorgeous photography and amazing recipes. I knew at once I had to convince her to come share with us! Lucky for me she agreed and I'm so excited to have her here today to share her Blueberry Almond Streusel Muffins. Don't they look amazing?! The only thing better is if she'd made me some. 🙂
Please welcome her and make sure you stop by her website, Will Cook For Friends and say hi!
I'm so excited to be writing in for Wendy today. When she asked if I'd be willing to do a guest post for her, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Thank you so much for having me!
I've always loved quinoa, but for as much as I enjoy eating it I consider myself to be a bit of a novice when it comes to cooking with it. I've always wanted to explore some of its less-common uses, and as I started thinking about all the options my head began to spin. Quinoa is so much more versatile than just cooking up to toss in a salad or use in place of rice… from making pudding, to pasta, or pie crust to pancakes (wow, does quinoa work for everything that starts with a P?), the possibilities are quite truly endless. Finally my spinning mind landed on something I have always wanted to try – quinoa in baking.
I've seen a lot of recipes for quinoa cakes and breads, but have never tried my hand at it before. I love to experiment with gluten-free baking, and today seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go.
These muffins have been floating around in the back of my brain for ages – blueberries, almonds, oats, oh my! – and I was beginning to think I had fantasized over them so much that they would never turn out as good as I imagined. Now that they're a reality, though, I have to say they lived up to my every expectation and then some. If you were to try one of these muffins without being told, you probably wouldn't guess that they're gluten-free… or better yet, vegan. (I've included vegan substitutions that bake up equally as good as the original.)
My goal whenever I'm making something gluten-free or vegan is to do it without sacrificing on flavor or texture. These muffins are sweet (but not too sweet), moist (but not too moist), and tender with just a bit of chew. I find that most store-bought gluten-free flour blends can give baked goods a slightly off flavor, so I always prefer to use my own mix of flours instead, that way I have complete control over what goes into my recipe and can tweak things as necessary. The magic combination for these muffins was rolled oats, quinoa flakes, and sorghum flour. (I love sorghum for its mild flavor and smooth texture, but you could probably substitute quinoa flour or coconut flour, if you prefer). Just remember that not all oats are gluten-free, so be sure to look for the certified gluten-free label!
These muffins are best eaten the day they're made, but do just fine at room temperature overnight, or can be frozen and quickly warmed in the microwave for breakfasts on-the-go. I've included a few recipe variations to make them vegan or nut-free, depending on what you're going for. Feel free to play with the flavors and use this recipe as a base for your own muffin masterpiece.
- For the streusel topping:
- 3 TBSP sorghum flour
- 3 TBSP gluten-free rolled oats
- 3 TBSP dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- 4 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled*
- 4 TBSP sliced almonds (or other nuts - optional)
- For the batter:
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free rolled oats, separated
- ½ cup quinoa flakes
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- 2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 tsp. Xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt (or ¼ tsp. table salt)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs*
- ¾ cup almond milk (or coconut milk, soy milk, etc.)
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt*
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. Gluten-free vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. Almond extract (or more vanilla, or other flavoring)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F., lightly grease the top of your muffin tin (to keep the edges of the muffin tops from sticking), and line the pan with muffin liners.
- Make the streusel first: in a bowl, combine the sorghum flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a couple forks or a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until it forms small, even little pieces no bigger than peas. Add the sliced almonds and stir to combine, then set in the fridge to keep cool while making the batter.
- For the batter: add 1 cup of the rolled oats to your blender or food processor, and spin until finely ground. In a large bowl, combine the freshly-ground oat flour, the last ½ cup rolled oats, the quinoa flakes, sorghum flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, almond milk, yogurt, and extracts.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir to combine. Add the melted coconut oil, and mix well.
- If you're using frozen blueberries, toss them in a bowl with an extra TBSP of sorghum flour to coat – this will keep the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, and help prevent them from staining the batter too much. If your berries are fresh, skip this step and add them directly to the batter. Fold the berries in gently.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins, then sprinkle the streusel topping over each one. It may seem like a lot, but don't be afraid to use all of it.
- Place the muffins on the middle rack of your preheated oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees F.. Bake for 24-26 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and let cool before eating (the muffins will be very delicate when hot, and will firm up as they cool). Muffins can be kept at room temperature overnight, or wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer for up to a couple of weeks.
To make these muffins vegan:
Swap the butter in the streusel topping for your favorite substitute. Replace the eggs with two flax eggs (one flax egg = 1 TBSP ground flax 3 TBSP water), or two chia seed eggs (one chia egg = ½ TBSP ground chia 3 TBSP water) – you can find my tutorial on how to make either of these here: How To Make a Flax or Chia Egg (hyperlink: http://www.willcookforfriends.com/2013/06/how-to-make-chia-egg-flax-egg-just-met.html ) In place of the yogurt, use 4 TBSP unsweetened applesauce 1 tsp. Lemon juice
To make the muffins nut-free, omit the almonds and replace the almond extract with more vanilla, or some other flavoring.
Blueberries not your thing? Swap them for other berries, chocolate chips, or nuts. Feel free to play around and make this recipe your own – don't worry, I won't mind!
Willow is the writer, photographer and home-chef behind scenes of the blog Will Cook For Friends, where she creates and shares delicious from-scratch recipes made with whole, healthful ingredients. She is entirely self-taught and has recently started an educational series with a focus on culinary science, nutrition and more. When she's not in the kitchen, you will most likely find her with her nose in a book or her head in the clouds.