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These quinoa muffins are a wonderful way to get some “whole grains” into your child’s lunch in a way they enjoy!
Why is “whole grains” in quotes? Because quinoa is actually a seed. But it’s also a seed that has all nine amino acids, just like meat. So it contains complete protein and is treated like a grain.
How To Cook Quinoa
Quinoa cooks in water just like rice or any other grain. However, the trick to making quinoa actually taste good is what you do to it before you cook it. You absolutely must rinse your quinoa really well in running water (I prefer to use warm water) before you ever put it in a pot to cook. There is a film on the outside of quinoa that will make it taste bitter if you don’t rinse it off first.
And yes, there is quinoa on the store shelves that says it’s been pre-rinsed. But guess what. It still tastes bitter if you don’t rinse it! So measure it, put it in a fine-meshed sieve, and rinse the heck out of it. You honestly can’t rinse it too much, so be thorough.
For kids, I highly recommend the all-white quinoa. The quinoa blends, or darker-colored quinoa, tend to have a stronger flavor that is harder to wash off, at least in my experience. So if your kids are new to quinoa, definitely get the white variety. It has the mildest flavor.
How To Make Quinoa Muffins
The process is pretty simple. You’ll want to first start by rinsing the quinoa well and then cooking it to package directions. Once cooked, fluff it with a fork to let it cool properly.
Once this is done, these muffins are easy to prep in just a few minutes. You will simply combine everything in a mixing bowl and stir it all together until it’s well combined. Then spoon the mixture into oiled mini muffin tins or pans. Bake, cool, and pack for lunch!
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Quinoa Muffins Recipe Card
Quinoa Muffins For School Lunches
- Mini muffin pan
- ½ cup dry quinoa (cooked to package directions)
- 2 tbsp. tomato sauce (no sugar added)
- ½ cup grated cheese (american, cheddar or parmesan work well)
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (ground if available)
- In a pot prepare the quinoa according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Let quinoa cool enough to touch.
- Mix in the cheese, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, stirring well to combine thoroughly.
- Fill an oiled mini muffin pan with the quinoa and bake for 15-18 minutes. The edges should have a slight golden brown tint when done.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from mini muffin pan.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge until you are ready to pack them for lunches.