So yesterday: I’m in my car, sweating slightly as I loop around my old college campus, at a loss for parking ideas and in a rush to get to an on-campus dinner for which I’m late. Phone is at my side, two rejected calls to Erik flash on the screen (he’s busy studying, but I need his parking pass). Radio up; mini muffins are sweating beside me in a shallow Tupperware that I forgot to crack open.
I run into a friend coming from the gym and we chat through my open window for a good three minutes—causing cars to squeeze around us—and I force muffins on her, thinking that if I don’t see Erik, I will be stuck with yet another full batch of irresistible carbs (she only takes two, politely). Ten minutes later, parking crisis has been averted (slightly less-than-full Tupperware of muffins have been swapped for the parking pass) and I am happily sucking down pasta and salad and lemon bars with some of the people I love best from college.
I’d contemplated bringing several things to the dinner, but the muffins, thrown together just before I left the house, were not present because I just wasn’t sure whether they were objectively delicious (i.e. blog-worthy and shareable) or just me-delicious. But when I get a smiley text from Erik saying “Muffins are already gone J” and a request from the muffin-foisted friend for the recipe within a few hours of each other, I figure this is one worth sharing, even though it’s kind of already been done.
These muffins are glorified piles of oats garnished with quinoa and chocolate chips. The quinoa adds barely distinguishable specks of chewy texture that I adore and the combination of oats and oat flour keep these textured but light. Moistened with almond butter, sweeteners and oil, they have a slightly higher fat profile than my typical muffins, but they are SO incredibly tender and fluffy—it’s worth it. They’re downright crowd-pleasing and I hereby regret not bringing these to share (because wahh, now my roommate and I are faced with the rest of the batch). Next time!
These fluffy, textured, protein-packed muffins can be made gluten-free by using GF oats. Packed with wholesome oats, quinoa and almond butter, these make a great breakfast on the go!
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 egg
- 1.5 cups oat flour
- 1/2 cup oats, instant or rolled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- scant ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (more to taste)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and grease a mini muffin tin or line with wrappers.
If you don’t have cooked quinoa already on hand, put 1/4-1/2 cup (depending on the amount of leftover you want) dry quinoa in a small pot with double the amount of water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, covered, until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate any leftover quinoa.
Stir together oil, sugar, maple syrup and almond butter.
Beat in the egg. Combine the oat flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the oat mixture and almond milk in three additions, starting and ending with oat flour.
Fold in the cooked quinoa and chocolate chips.
Bake at 425 degrees for four minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 350 (180 C) for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can bake these at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes if you're baking something else at the same time that calls for 350.)
For regular-size muffins, bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Use gluten-free oats if you are strictly gluten-free.
These can be made vegan by substituting 1 tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seeds + 3 tablespoons almond milk in place of the egg; I just preferred the egg version.
I always make my own oat flour by grinding whole oats in a food processor. You can also grind down the added whole oats if you want a less pronounced texture from the oats.