Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

pumpkin quinoa muffins

We live in a time of so many choices.  What to do with our days, our lives, who we want to be, what we stand for.  As a little girl, even into my twenties, I dreamt of notoriety.  As a ten year old, I signed my diary entries with a grand flourish, convinced that one day the world would read them when I  became a famous dancer.  I declared that I'd never have kids because I would be too busy as a diva on the stages Europe. 

These are just muffins, but to me, they represent a lot more.  You see, the diva in me would probably have had a staff in charge of menial daily chores.  But I could never give up certain things for the sake of an "easier" life.  The hard worker in me thrives on stirring up a batch of the granola that Roman loves, whipping up some of his favorite multigrain pear waffles for second breakfast, and so on for lunch and dinner.  In between there is laundry and there are always dishes to be done.  

I know I've grown up because I'm grateful for my life as it is.  I feel settled and no longer need the attention I once craved.  There is order, calm and purpose in caring for other people- something I never would have understood as a younger person.  I'm just living.  Trying to help my people thrive and grow.  Modest tasks.  And for now, this is how I go on, one snack at a time.

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup cooked Quinoa
2 large eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 cup raw shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Preheat the oven to 400.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, salt.  Stir well with a whisk.  Add the cooked and cooled quinoa and stir with a whisk or fork to break up any clusters. 

In a measuring cup, beat the two eggs and add to the flour mixture. Measure out the buttermilk and combine it with the pumpkin, adding this to the large bowl.  Add the melted butter and the vanilla if using.  

Fill 12 muffin tins (grease them or use muffin liner cups if needed) about 3/4 of the way and sprinkle each muffin with pumpkin seeds.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool them in the tins for about ten minutes before turning them out to cool completely on a rack.  These muffins freeze well.

* To cook quinoa, rinse one cup of dry quinoa well using a fine mesh strainer.  Boil 2 cups of water, then add the quinoa, cover the pot and simmer for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and leave the cover on the pot for another 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.  


  1. Those look like great muffins! And is nice to hear you feeling so serene.

  2. Looks like you are in a great place, Nicole. I've always liked the idea of my less than favorite tasks being completed magically, but I hate the thought of managing a staff. Even if I had a genie I'd prefer keeping kitchen items such as chopping, dicing, slicing, stirring, and tasting to myself. But mopping the floor... Hmmm.

  3. You should submit this for publication in Behind Stowe! We all need every possibly reminder of all the beauty, peace, and satisfaction there is to be found outside the limelight. xo

  4. I totally agree with your reflections. It is of utmost importance to just live, acknowledging it, from snack to snack as you put it. I just wrote something along the same lines in my last post.

  5. Nicole: i like how you "just live"... i would remove the "just" from that sentence. you live well. And i am with you, i don't want to be famous, at all, it would distract me from the beautiful daily life.


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