I don’t know how cold it is where you live, but here it is so cold—how cold is it?—it is SO COLD, it’s not safe to leave the house. But I did, for all of 30 seconds, to quickly snap this picture, which I hoped would evoke lying in the warm sun by a swimming pool, somewhere in the Carribean. Hey, a girl can dream.
The Pineapple-Coconut-Quinoa Chickpea Muffins were the result of divine inspiration and also dumb luck. As they cook they get nicely crisp on the edges, while remaining moist and chewy and nutty and sweet in the middle. They don’t have much of a rise, so don’t expect a looker, but they taste good enough that hopefully you can forgive them for that.
Close your eyes. Take a bite. Listen to the ocean waves. You are lying in the warm sun by a swimming pool, somewhere in the Carribean…
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 ½ cups chopped pineapple (or one 20 oz can)
1 ½ cups chickpeas (or one 15 oz can)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup turbinado or coconut sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour.
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
1. In a small pot, bring quinoa plus coconut milk, cinnamon, salt and maple syrup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for ~20 minutes, until the coconut milk is fully absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy and smells deliciously coco-nutty.
2. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 and spray two muffin pans with olive oil (this makes ~18 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin pans).
3. Puree pineapple and chickpeas in food processor and pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add one egg, olive oil and vanilla and mix well.
4. When the quinoa is fully cooked, add two cups of the cooked quinoa into the wet ingredients and mix well. (Save the remaining ~cup for an afternoon snack.)
5. In another large bowl, combine sugar, flour, coconut and baking powder. Slowly fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Pour into muffin pans. If you have any unused muffin compartments, fill them ¼ full of water so they won’t scorch in the oven. If you like, top the muffins with a bit of sugar or coconut.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the edges of the muffins look dark brown and crisp.
Natalie Eve Garrett is an artist and writer, and the editor of The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook.