Quinoa butternut spice muffins

I won't wax on too much about how I love these muffins. That's because they are just one of (hopefully) many knock-offs of these amazing and amazingly easy quinoa banana muffins I've been going bananas for and wish I'd created myself. This butternut squash version  is a worthy partner, with a just-right crispness on the tops, a warm, meltaway, lightly spiced middle. They are delicately, naturally sweet and, it must be said despite the current unpopularity of the word, moist. But I'll let them speak for themselves. They can. So well. butternut_quinoamuffins (1)


I will share a bitty quick run-down of my week. In some ways it hasn't been the best; but there's really very little that has kept it from superb... aside from the time I thought I burned the house down and tore back from the grocery store without the groceries...but that is another story. The real downside...my chimp has been mostly calling the shots. (Or, as so eloquently and persuasively explained in "The Chimp Paradox" , a fascinating book by Dr. Steve Peters, my emotional limbic system has been overruling my calmer frontal lobe this week.) I've had a daunting task list this week, combined with late night waking-rockings with Little Monkey, and as a result have been hypersensitive, weary, and reading into everything, second-guessing almost everyone.

When I get too tired and a little hormonal, I just can't seem to stop myself from taking every precious quiet moment when the brain is allowed to wander and reflect, and focus on the one negative blip in the day, or the one person I can't seem to connect with. To be more truly forthcoming, I'll fixate on someone, anyone, who just doesn't like me. It doesn't matter that I may not care for them. The inner child clearly harbors the odd sting from past popularity trials.

unnamedflix_mamaThe whole reason I bring this mundane mental mess up at all, however, is I had a friend share the loveliest--or maybe liveliest--way of beating this kind of blues. I ran into beautiful, compassionate Kristie at a coffee shop, and in ensuing email exchanges afterward, confided how I'd let a small bump up against a little catty cliquiness get me down. "Shake it off", she wrote back. Meaning literally. Shake your whole body. Make your spouse/partner/kids/pets giggle. It works. I tried it. (Thank you, Kristie.) Shake with enough vigor that you exhaust your chimp, who is probably secretly desperate for a break. I did, and afterward I could finally pause and see that, internal dialogue aside, things are really great (you see, George, it's a wonderful life). Of course they are...for one big and important thing, Little Monkey turns chimp into CHAMP, all the time. He's funny, he's joyful, he's delightfully inquisitive, he's a fireball of energy and a snuggly koala.

Yes, I cuddled my kiddo after that. And took some time to focus on my own journey, and those who nurture it with me. That made it so much easier to shake off the cloud. And then I made these muffins, which are so unbelievably quick and simple to make, and so worth double the effort. They didn't hurt either.


Quinoa Butternut Spice Muffins Makes approximately 9 muffins

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes or quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • generous shake (or about 1 tablespoon) pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed or pureed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add in eggs, honey and molasses and stir to combine. The mixture will resemble thick pancake batter.
  4. Pour batter halfway up each muffin cup in a greased muffin tin. Bake approximately 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.