Monday, 18 February 2013

Chocolate, quinoa & beetroot muffins - dairy and egg free

These muffins are a variation on these Chocolate and Beetroot muffins, slightly altered to deliver a nice shot of protein. They are dairy free, egg free and low in sugar having only some maple syrup in them. Perfect for children and adults, anyone on a plant-based diet or if you just fancy a guilt-free chocolate cake (and who wouldn't want one of those!).

And they taste delicious! Surely this is about as good as chocolate cake can get?

Chocolate, quinoa and beetroot muffins

Set oven to 180 C
  • about 1 cup cooked beetroot (roasted or steamed)
  • 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 melted dairy free spread
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (or almond or rice milk)
1.  If steaming the beetroot, scrub them then lightly peel any rough skin. Cut off top and bottom.  Cut into cubes and set  in steamer or placed in a metal colander on top of pot filled with about 4-5 inches of water covered on med high heat.  Beetroot should not touch the water.  Steam for about 30-45 minutes.  Pieces should be soft when pierced with a fork.  Set aside to cool completely.  This step can be done the day before.
1a. If roasting the beetroot, scrub them then lightly peel any rough skin. Cut off top and bottom and quarter. Toss in oil (I use rapeseed or olive oil) and put into a roasting pan, cover with foil and roast for about 40 minutes at about 180C until soft when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool completely.
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.
3. Place cooked beetroot, 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, beetroot and coconut milk to mixture and stir to combine.
5.  Add in 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. (11 minutes for mini 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.

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