Many a muffin can be blamed for diet sabotage, but muffins from the renowned spa, the Golden Door, are light and lovely and rely on pureed fruits instead of butter and oil. This Golden Door recipe for orange quinoa muffins uses quinoa, oats and cornmeal to replace flour, making them not only super moist but also an excellent source of protein and other nutrients.
When the Golden Door spa opened in 1958, they set the standard for fresh, colorful, flavorful “spa food.” These muffins are no exception. And although they don’t have wheat flour, they aren’t gluten-free because the oats contain gluten—if you want to make them gluten-free, just double the quinoa and drop the oats.
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup cooked quinoa
1 ¼ cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large ripe banana
1/3 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (or one of Care2′s recommended natural sweeteners).
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 egg whites
2/3 cup chopped pitted dates
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil and set aside.
2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the rolled oats into a fine flour. Add it to the cooked quinoa and mix in the cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. Grate the oranges to make 2 teaspoons zest. Peel the remaining oranges and separate the segments of all 4 oranges. Remove all the pith. Cut the outer membrane from the orange segments. Chop ¾ cup of the orange segments and place into a large bowl.
4. In food processor, process the banana with apple juice, brown sugar, honey, oil, egg and egg whites. Pour into the bowl with orange segments. Stir in the dates and orange zest and mix well. Pour the banana-orange batter into the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack; serve warm or let cool.
Adapted from The Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy by Michel Stroot (Gibbs Smith, 2003).