Buttermilk Muffins with Apples, Quinoa and Spice

Apple Quinoa Muffins on Red Plate

An abundance of apples has been on the minds of most people I meet up with these days. Unusual weather conditions in New England have given us an incredible bounty of fruit. So many of the people I meet have come up with creative ideas for their use. I have heard about delicious apple and yogurt smoothies for breakfast, all sorts of apple pie recipes, and a friend who is building an old-fashioned cider press just to make the most of the apples swelling from the limbs of the trees in his garden. Impressive!

My creative juices let me come up with these Buttermilk Muffins with Quinoa, Apples and Spice. Pronounced “keen-wa”, these light grains are a great source of plant protein, iron, potassium and magnesium. Baked within these breakfast pastries, the quinoa granules develop a smoky flavor and add a crunchy texture that is a perfect complement to the sweet apples. Try them warm, drizzled with honey, accompanied by fresh apple slices for breakfast. They go equally well with some fresh yogurtany way you chose, these muffins are a very special way to start your day.

I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.



Yield: 12 Muffins


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quinoa*
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⅓  cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh apple cubes, peeled and cut fine dice


  1. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix until fully incorporated. Add the buttermilk to the creamed butter, sugar and eggs and mix together. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir gently until just combined. Add the chopped apples, stirring just until the apple bits are evenly distributed in the batter.
  6. Spoon the batter in to the prepared tins.
  7. Bake until browned and well risen, about 25 minutes.
  8. Cool slightly, then remove from muffin tins. Enjoy warm or store in an air-tight container once the muffins are fully cooled. They will last 1-2 days if stored properly.