Last night before bed, I put the dry ingredients together for Quinoa Banana Apple Muffins from the cookbook I shared with you, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. It took minimal time. This morning it took another 15 minutes to prepare the moist part of these incredible muffins and add them to the dry. Of course, we rarely follow a recipe to the letter here. I added ½ tsp. cardamom and 1 tsp. ground ginger as we like eastern spices quite a lot.
Adytum Retreat and Spa is fortunate to have its own consultant chef on staff, Phillip Gritton, 2003 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY. Not only did he help design the half dozen work stations in the huge fantasy chef’s kitchen, but he’s ramping up all the dishes on the menu to bring them to a higher level.
It is nothing short of pure joy to have him at the stove or one of the many prep stations on the holidays. Watching his hands chop an onion in seconds, or seeing him handle a very heavy stockpot WHILE taking a call on his cell…well, pretty inspiring. He makes it look so easy.
Hopefully we will be roping Phil in for some cooking and presentation lessons. Meantime, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have private functions that require the penultimate chef.
Part of the joy of creating spectacular meals in a kitchen like the one at Adytum is the degree of organization. I have a dedicated baking station with all my tools in one spot for the most part so time isn’t wasted doing circles around the island. Phil once cooked in a kitchen that was miniscule for a famous restaurant in Vermont. So size really doesn’t matter after all. It is the order and organization you bring to your work that will create fun and awesome meals, or not. The more you cook, the more it evolves.
Here’s the recipe everyone seems to rave about: By the way, it uses a lot of rather expensive Quinoa flour. Consider it a meal as Quinoa is a complete protein and the ingredients are all healthy, and vegan in this case.
Quinoa Banana Apple Muffins
Makes 1 to 1 ½ dozen spectacular, moist gluten free, sugar free, egg free muffins.
½ cup melted virgin coconut oil
½ cup whole cane sugar (I used ½ cup raw local honey)
3 bananas, mashed or run through the Cuisinart
1 cup applesauce
1 medium apple, cored and grated with skin intact
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 – 1 ½ cups quinoa flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
(I added the cardamom and ginger)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans this time)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.
In a large bowl (I used the cuisinart) cream together coconut oil and sugar or in this case, honey. Stir in well ripened bananas (the discounted, black blotchy ones are ripe), applesauce, grated apple, raisins and vanilla.
In a separate bowl (my work station has a KitchenAid mixer right by the Cuisanart for maximum efficiency) mix quinoa flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and spice(s) together. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix, without over mixing. Fold in nuts if using.
Spoon batter into muffin tins, oiled or lined with paper.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes then place on wire rack to cook.
Now watch them disappear and know you’ve contributed to the health and wellness of the lucky recipients of your loving time and energy.