Tag Archives: quinoa

Wild Quinoa, Date, & Banana Protein Muffins

I am a big fan of preparing ahead for meals. It means my week is less stressful and more organised, which also means I stick to healthier options. This week I had so many things going on that I completely forgot about the mix of quinoa and wild rice made up to add to salads or to use as a base for hot dishes. There was no way I was going to waste this precious bundle of nutrients. So from there….the wild rice and quinoa muffin was born with the ever-so-complimentary additions of date and banana.

The quinoa and wild rice somehow combines with the rest of the ingredients into the perfect mix of crunchy, chewy, and delicious sticky sweetness…

The ultimate must-have’s in a muffin? I think so! Even the nutrient profile is impressive, delivering all 9 essential amino acids (proteins) as well as a good dose of fibre and healthy fats.

Ingredients:

½ cup almond flour
1 scoop protein powder
2 cups cooked quinoa & wild rice mix*
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup organic coconut sugar*
2 ripe bananas mashed
1 large free range egg
¾ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
½ cup dates
Cinnamon for dusting

* use ¾ cup dry quinoa and ¼ cup dry wild rice – cook with 2 cups of water
* OR ¼ cup rapadura sugar OR ¼ cup brown sugar OR 3 tablespoons honey OR stevia

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Combine almond flour, protein powder, quinoa and wild rice mix, spelt flour, baking powder, and coconut sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Finely chop the dates and fold into the mixture. Scoop into a muffin tin and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and the skewer comes out clean. Dust muffins with cinnamon and enjoy warm with a cup of tea.

You might think that this muffin combination is a bit strange.

But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It really delivers on taste.

Link of the day:

Rhubarb & Raspberry Tart

 

The Life-Changing Bread

I love bread. It is definitely one of my weaknesses. If I didn’t know better and didn’t have all the nutritional knowledge from studying for 6 years, I’d probably eat french bread sticks and sourdough from my local baker with lashing of butter at every meal. But unfortunately (and fortunately for my health and yours!) I do have the knowledge.

By no means am I saying that bread is bad for you. There is definitely a place in a wholesome, well-balanced diet for bread that has been made from good quality ingredients in small amounts. But unless you’re willing to fork out $8-$12 for a good quality bread these days (or have the skills of a Danish bread maker) you’re stuck with the mass-produced loafs from the supermarkets. These are often laden with processed wheat products, soy flour, colours, preservatives, sugars and syrups. If this is news – learn to read your labels.

One of my passions is to create healthy versions of everyday foods and dishes, and to encourage others to do the same. I simply had to look for a healthy alternative. These sorts of pursuits don’t often stop until I find what I look for and it has ticked all my nutritional boxes. It didn’t take me long though, to find this life-changing bread that was geniusly invented by Sarah at My New Roots. When I saw it, I simply had to try it. The end result was a very impressed dietitian with a huge smile on her face holding a piece of life-changing bread in her hand. With lashings of homemade jam (my treat).

The best thing about this bread? It actually is HEALTHY for you. And it is REALLY easy to make, with minimum kitchen mess. You the combine ingredients, stir, soak, and bake all in the one dish – perfect!

Here is the recipe from the My New Roots blog

Ingredients:

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup / 90g flax seeds
  • ½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats ( contains far less gluten than bread)
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
  • 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
  • 3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 ½ cups / 350ml water

Directions:

1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.

3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).

4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast

Mediterranean Multigrain Salad

Today is Salad Inspiration day – and this one will fill up your tank with lots of flavour, fibre, and fat-fighting goodies!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup 4Grain Protein Rice (I also added wild rice and buckwheat to the mix)
10 cherry tomatoes
1/4 onion
2 handfuls of green leaves
1 tsp tahini
Juice from half a lemon
2 – 3 tbsp almond milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp goats cheese fetta (optional)

Add the chopped onion and cherry tomatoes to the protein rice, and lay the mixture on a bed of green leaves. Place tahini, lemon juice, almond milk and spices in a small glass jar and shake vigorously until well combined and a dressing consistency is achieved. Pour the dressing over the salad and top with goats cheese fetta. Enjoy!

What is your favourite go-to salad?

I love a freshly grilled fish salad with some sort of fruit added to it – like mango or peach! In case you haven’t realised – I’m a bit obsessed with fruit :)

Link of the day:

Fresh Fig & Goats Cheese Salad
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4Grain Protein Rice

Love your rice but feel like you’re not getting as much from it as you’d like?
Say hello to 4Grain Protein Rice! Now with more protein, fibre and B-vitamins than ever before!

This staple is colourful, crunchy yet soft, satisfying and exciting! It has a low Glycaemic Index (GI) giving you slow-released energy and stabilised blood sugar levels – perfect for weight management or diabetics! The seeds in this are also really high in protein so it will keep you fuller for longer and help repair your muscles to keep your metabolism sky high. Who wouldn’t want this new rice? Even those who are gluten-intolerant can have this as it is 100% gluten free!

This is SUPER easy to make if you have a rice cooker at home. If you don’t, it is still very easy. I promise :)

Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice
1 cup quinoa (I used red)
1/2 cup amaranth seed
1/2 cup millet
5 cups water

Don’t worry these are not difficult to find! Quinoa and brown rice is widely available in Australian supermarkets these days – look in the healthfood isle. Amaranth and millet will need to be sourced from your local health food store and are very affordable. I want to talk a little bit about these grains and their nutritional value:

Quinoa is a seed that contains all essential amino acids required by the body, therefore a complete protein source! It is not a grain but a seed and when cooked becomes soft with a nutty, satisfying taste. You can read more about it here.

Brown rice is an unmilled, whole natural grain that has only had its outer husk removed. This means that it contains more B-vitamins, magnesium and iron than white rice. It is also a great source of fibre!

Amaranth seed is often called “grain” because is behaves like a grain but is technically a seed. There have been a few studies to show that amaranth may help with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This seed is also naturally gluten free and is rich in B-vitamins!

Millet is a traditional food source for many countries including India, Russia, Germany, China and West African countries like The Gambia! This little seed is rich in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. These are all important for healthy bones, skin and energy levels.

Have I convinced you yet? Well maybe the easy method will…

Method:
Combine all ingredients in your rice maker and turn it on “cook”. It should be ready in about 20 minutes! Voila…it’s that easy!

* If you don’t have a rice maker, simply add everything in a big pot on high heat until it starts to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked.

This 4Grain Protein Rice is PERFECT to add to your food prep for the week! It is something that will keep in the fridge for the whole week and works really well added to salads for lunch or as a foundation for dinner!

This is how I had it for dinner last night…a delicious purple raw kale & brocolinni salad and oven-baked sweet potato with a creamy tahini sauce drizzled over it!

You could even make it into a healthy dessert like this one! Or use it in a salad like this one.

Question: Do you get bored with rice? What else have you tried to make it more nutritious and exciting?