This past weekend, I did my first blueberry picking of the season (and actually, my first blueberry picking in years - I can't remember the last time I did that!). Since the blueberries had just become ready, I was worried that they wouldn't be very good yet, but I was wrong!
They were perfectly sweet, and I had a hard time stopping myself from eating them right off the branches. Actually, the only thing that stopped me from staying and picking all the blueberries (besides how much it would cost) was the insane heat wave we've been having here in Southern Ontario these past few days, which has been keeping me from spending too much time outside lately.
But with this heat, I'm craving refreshing fruit all the time, so it's a good thing that blueberries, cherries, and raspberries are just coming into season here now!
I actually made these muffins before the local ones were available, but they still turned out so good that I wanted to share them now, so that you can go make them with those fresh local blueberries (although I know they're not in season for all of you right now)!
The recipe for these muffins was adapted from BitterSweet blog. I loved her idea of adding quinoa to make breakfast muffins even healthier and full of protein so that they can sustain you a bit longer.
As usual, I made some changes to the recipe to suit my own tastes, like adding lemon juice and zest instead of orange juice, reducing the sweetener, using pecans instead of walnuts, and adding some buckwheat flour for a deeper flavour.
I loved the texture of these muffins - they were dense and hearty, with some chewiness from the cooked quinoa and a bit of crunch from the pecans. They weren't very sweet either, which meant those bursts of juicy blueberries really stood out even more!
The muffins didn't rise much in the oven so they turned out to be a bit on the small size, making them a good snack muffin or a pretty healthy breakfast along with some fruit or yogurt.
I can't wait to try out more blueberry recipes before their season is over!
Blueberry Breakfast Muffins with Quinoa
Adapted from BitterSweet
1/4 cup dry quinoa + 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (can substitute with another flour)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tbsp ground flax
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup blueberries
1 small ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup (add 1-2 more tablespoons if you like a sweeter muffin)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar (optional)
First, prepare the quinoa: Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook on low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, then remove lid and fluff with a fork. You should have about 1 cup cooked quinoa (it's okay if you have a little less).
Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare a muffin tin by spraying with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the lemon zest and pecans and whisk again. Gently stir in the blueberries.
In a separate bowl, mix the mashed banana, almond milk, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Pour this wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and gently mix with a rubber spatula just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Divide batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup almost full (mine filled 7 muffin cups). Sprinkle the tops with a bit of turbinado sugar if desired (this will make the tops crunchy). Place muffin pan in preheated oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and muffins feel firm on top. Let sit in the pan for a few minutes before transfering the muffins to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 7 small muffins.