Not all of my baking efforts are a success.
My first attempt to bake with quinoa flour culminated in banana bread that is really most accurately described by the term ‘unmitigated disaster’. It was tough, bitter and was only improved by the addition of lashings of apricot jam, so thick that you couldn’t actually taste the banana bread anymore. One friend even described the texture as “old meatloaf gone bad”. Ouch. So when the lovely people at KeenWah provided me with some quinoa flour to use in my baking experiments you can understand that I was a little cautious. I needn’t have been – not only is their flour much better quality than the brand I used originally (and so doesn’t have a horrible bitter aftertaste) but I also switched up the recipe and made these Strawberry, Lemon and Poppyseed muffins. Julz: 1, Quinoa flour: well, also 1. But I win this round!
Citrus and poppyseed have been long-standing buddies in the world of classic flavour combinations, and this recipe transforms that friendship to a tantalising ménage-a-trois by adding in juicy strawberries. If MasterChef has taught me anything, and I’m not really sure that it has, it’s that layers of flavour and texture will take something a little ho-hum and turn it into something Matt Preston would maul you over the table just to get his hands on. Crunchy, tangy, sweet and wholesome – these muffins have pretty much everything I’m looking for in a baked good, except a negative calorie value.
Strawberries are packed full of antioxidants that help suppress cancer cell growth and mop up free radical damage, and contain compounds called anthocyanins which have been shown to boost short term memory. Lemons are well known for their high vitamin C content, with one medium lemon containing half of an adult's recommended daily intake. Vitmain C is not only good for strengthening the immune system but can help increase iron absorption, preventing iron-deficiency anaemia.
You can probably replace the oat flour with more quinoa flour to make the muffins completely gluten and grain free (but given my track record with quinoa flour I might let one of my loyal readers try it out first..) and you could definitely use other citrus in place of the lemon. If I thought grapefruit was anything other than the fruit of the devil I might try it, otherwise orange and lime would be really nice. You could also definitely switch up the berries to any frozen variety of your choosing, given that here in the land of Aus fresh berries are almost out of season. Perfect for school lunch boxes, morning or afternoon tea breaks and bouncing back from kitchen humiliation.
Strawberry, Lemon and Poppyseed Muffins
1x 250g punnet of strawberries
Juice of two lemons
Zest of three lemons
1 cup milk
1 cup oat flour
1 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp poppyseeds
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Line 12 muffin trays with paper liners.
2) Wash, dry and slice the strawberries. Combine lemon juice and milk in a small jug and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.
3) Combine oat and quinoa flours, baking powder, salt, sugar and poppyseeds in a large bowl and mix well.
4) Add milk and eggs to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir through strawberries, reserving 12 slices for decoration.
5) Pour the batter evenly into the prepared muffin holes and top each one with a slice of reserved strawberry.
6) Bake the muffins for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to touch.
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