Sunday, April 15, 2012

Banana-Nut Muffins with Quinoa

So I made Quinoa Banana-Nut muffins this morning.  They were surprisingly delightful!  I have made Zucchini bread with Quinoa before, so I tried using similar ingredients.  Because I had just organized my pantry, baking was a lot less hassle than it has been in the past, and I was able to see right away that I had all the ingredients I would need, on hand.

On with the recipe!  The yield is 12 mini muffins or 6 regular sized muffins.  I like making mini-muffins because I can have like six and not feel guilty at all... okay, maybe a little guilty, but they're Whole Grain!

You will need:

  • 1 over-ripe banana (not pictured)
  • 1/4 c. Coconut Oil (butter can be used, but there are so many health benefits to using coconut oil over butter, that I prefer it.)
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/3 c. Whole Grain Quinoa flour
  • 1/3 c. Whole Wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1/3 c. Chopped Walnuts (can be increased or omitted)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease the muffin pan you'll be using.  Once you've gathered your ingredients, you should mash the banana in a medium bowl with a fork.  I like to use a fork because it is more manageable than a spoon and it does the mashing work much more quickly.  After the banana is mashed, add the coconut oil and Vanilla.  Stir.  After they are combined, add the Quinoa Flour, Whole Wheat flour, Baking Powder and Salt.  Lightly stir for a minute or so, being careful not to over work the flour.  This makes for a chewy muffin texture and the muffins will not rise as well.  Once you're satisfied with the mixing, add the walnuts and move to your muffin pan.

I like to use a fancy ice-cream scoop type tool to equally divide the batter, but you can use spoons just as well.  Try to fill the pans 3/4 full so they really rise above the pan.  This makes for a prettier muffin.  As soon as you've separated the batter, put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes. 

After you've removed them from the oven, leave the muffins in the pan for two minutes.  This helps the evenly distribute remaining heat through the muffin and finishes the baking cycle.  It also makes the muffins easier to take out of the pan.  After letting the muffins set, use a spoon or butter knife to dislodge them onto a cooling rack.  I like to eat some right away with butter, but you may prefer to wait.

Hope you have appreciate this recipe!  It's really quite delicious and quick. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Problem with Getting Crafty

Pinterest is my Achilles Heel.  Although I am not particularly frugal, I do have some money-management skills.  I live on my own with my two cats, several plants, and lots of fish, in my one-bedroom apartment in Downtown Detroit.

I love my apartment.  I find that its floor to ceiling windows on two sides of my corner apartment offer spectacular views of downtown and plenty of natural light with which to grow my ever-increasing plant collection.  The only problem (and I wouldn't call it a real problem) is that the wonderful bones of the apartment drive me to improve the stuff within.

This is where Pinterest becomes a problem.  DUN, Dun, dun.  I go on Pinterest for a "few minutes" (yeah right) and decide that this:

The current state of my pantry.

Must become this:

The fabulous pantry makeover at "The Social Home."

So I go out and buy these:

New pantry containers.

The Cat in the picture would be Buttercup, staring at me accusingly for buying pantry containers instead of a kitty condo for her... I know!  Neglect! 

I then take a good five hours purging, rearranging, and finding the perfect labels.  The result is this:

Organized, non-creature-growing Pantry. 

I now have a usable, streamlined pantry, complete with cute labels and containers.  What was I complaining about again...?  I love Pinterest! ;-)