Thursday, 28 February 2013

CHocolate & Quinoa muffins with butternut squash or sweet potato - great for kids parties!

For the origins of this recipe, and my thoughts on which version is best, see my post about the taste test. There is also a beetroot version of this cake (divine, one particularly for chocolate devotees) here.

This recipe would be a great choice for a children's party, suitable from first birthdays onwards. Its a lovely chocolate flavour, not too rich, with lots of healthy ingredients. Plus, there's little here to trouble most kids' allergies or food issues: no egg, no soy, no dairy, no nuts, no refined sugars. Not bad!

Chocolate and quinoa muffins, with either sweet potatoes or butternut squash


Set oven to 180 C
  • about 1 1/2 cups roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2  tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/3 cup uncooked)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or seagreens*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup rapeseed oil or melted dairy free spread
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (or almond or rice milk)
1. When roasting the vegetables, cut them into 1 inch squares, toss in oil and roast uncovered for about 30-40 minutes at about 180C until soft when pierced with a fork. Don't let them get too crispy. Set aside to cool.
2.  If using uncooked quinoa, place it in a pan and cover by at least 2 inches with hot water. Bring to the boil and cook at an enthusiastic simmer for 10-15 minutes until the quinoa is soft and the individual seeds have turned opaque and the white section is starting to come away. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside to dry out (important not to use wet).
3. Place roasted vegetables, syrup and vanilla in food processor and pulse to mix,  then process on high for a couple of minutes until very smooth. 
4..  Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add quinoa, vegetable puree and coconut milk to mixture and stir to combine.
5.  Add in oil or melted spread and stir well with a spoon.
6.  Line cupcake tin with paper cups or grease with oil spray and fill 3/4 of the way full with batter.
Bake at 180 C for 16-19 minutes (this amount makes 22 small-medium cupcakes). Top should be firm to light touch.  Let cool for 15 minutes.
* What are Seagreens? They are a finely ground combination of seaweeds which can be used widely in cooking. They are an excellent source of iodine, which is very important to the body and can be hard to get adequately as a non-meat and dairy eater. Seagreens have slightly nutty and salty flavour and can be used instead of salt so long as the salt isn't having a chemical effect (as in bread making). I chuck it in anything and everything, but especially baking as I love making traditionally treat-type food more healthy.

This recipe is shared at Allergy-Free Wednesday at Laura's Gluten Free Pantry

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