Quinoa was sacred to the Incas, who referred to it as the mother of all grains. A dietary staple, the grain held a position of significance in Incan ceremonies. Only the potato was of greater importance in their diet; even maize was not held in as great esteem as was quinoa!
Quinoa has a very high protein content, it is a complete protein, and is a good source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium. Quinoa is gluten-free and easily digested, and the calcium in quinoa makes it an important dietary addition for individuals with lactose intolerance.
Quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.
Liberty Market has their own hand-milled quinoa flour available in their freezer section. Suitable for thickening soups and stew or gravies, the gluten-free flour is great for baking, although you may wish to mix it with other flours to avoid producing baked goods which are ‘heavy’.
This recipe for chocolate sour cream cupcakes uses only quinoa flour, but it does contain cocoa powder to lighten things up.
Chocolate chip sour cream quinoa cupcakes
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups quinoa flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- ½ cup chocolate chips (your choice: milk, dark or semi-sweet)
Preheat oven to 375F. Melt the butter in the microwave. Let cool for a minute, then add the water. Whisk in the cocoa power and set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the (cooled, so as not to cook the egg yolks) cocoa mixture, then the egg yolks, vanilla and sour cream and blend. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and gently fold into the batter. Spoon this mixture into a muffin tin which is lined with cupcake liners, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
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