These Strawberry Quinoa Muffins are a delicious treat that is perfect for a snack or breakfast. So light, it is hard to believe that they are gluten free.
I've been gluten free for almost two years now, and I have to tell you there are two things that are still challenging for me. The first is eating out and the second is holidays.
This makes holiday's like Valentine's day - where you typically do eat out - especially challenging. If you are gluten free, my goal is to make this Valentine's day a little less stressful. I'm going to be sharing some new recipes that I've developed with Valentine's Day in mind and also talking about some tips on how to eat out gluten free without spoiling the romance. Because lets face it, nothing is less romantic than spending 20 minutes grilling your waiter (when you only have a babysitter for 2 hours!) only to find that you are curled up in a ball with a stomach ache shortly after you leave the restaurant.
Step 1: Finding a Gluten Free Friendly Restaurant
There are several resources for finding restaurants that are either gluten free or gluten free friendly. I really like this one because it isn't just limited to cities, has an iPhone app and also has reviews from other gluten free diners. I really like to read other peoples comments. (i.e. did they get sick after they ate there?) You can also get on websites like Yelp put in the keyword gluten free. When all else fails, simply put the city you are in and gluten free in your search engine.
Step 2: Do Your Homework
The first thing I do when I am going to a new restaurant is look at their menu online. This gives me an idea of their offerings and also lets me know if I am going to be restricted to one gluten free option or if they have a wide variety of offerings. I find it very stressful to go into a situation not knowing and that hardly encourages an environment for romance.
Many times if the menu isn't clear, I will also call ahead and ask questions. If they have gluten free bread, is it purchased or is it made by a local bakery? If it is from a bakery does this bakery also make bread with gluten in it and if so, what measures are taken to avoid cross-contamination? What about their salad dressings?
Don't assume that meat or veggies are a safe bet because both often have seasonings that contain gluten. You also want to make sure if you are going to be eating any fried foods (it is a special occasion after all) that the oil is not also being used for foods gluten containing foods.
Most restaurants are very accommodating and happy to answer your questions as long as you don't call during busy times.
Step 3: Know What You Are Getting Before You Go
Once I know what my options are going to be, I decide exactly what I am going to order before I go. I know I am not alone in this - but sometimes it can be really easy to say "just this once" I am going to splurge and have that pizza/bread/breaded chicken/chocolate cake.
I find it much easier to stay on track if I decide in detail everything I will be getting before I get there.
So now that we've talked about eating out gluten free without spoiling the romance, I am going to share my all time favorite muffin recipe with you. These Strawberry Quinoa Muffins are the perfect way to say I love you on Valentine's Day. I happen to think they make a great breakfast most any day.
Strawberry Quinoa Muffins
- 2 cups Self-Rising Flour Blend see below
- ½ cups coconut palm sugar or sugar of choice
- ¼ cup Muscovado sugar packed or brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 2 large eggs or flax eggs - 2T ground flax seeds + 6T warm water
- ⅓ cup coconut oil melted
- ¾ cup almond milk milk of choice
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups strawberries diced
- Topping Optional
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup sugar of choice
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a twelve-cup muffin tin or line with muffin papers.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add flax seeds and cooked quinoa and stir until it is coated.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add in coconut oil, milk, applesauce and vanilla and stir to combined. Add to dry mixture and stir until just wet. Fold in strawberries.
- Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins. (I like to use an ice cream scoop.) Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin and place directly on the rack to continue cooling.
- If topping, place the melted butter in a small bowl and place the sugar in a separate bowl. Dip the top of the muffin into the butter and then carefully roll in the sugar.
Self Rising Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 1 ¼ cups millet flour
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- ¾ cup quinoa flour
- ½ cup cornstarch organic or potato starch
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large storage container.