Quinoa, Apricot and Oat Muffin Clusters
Flourless, gluten-free granola muffin clusters. These light and healthy clusters boast an irresistible creamy, crunchy sweetness. They will disappear quickly so watch out!
So today I actually decided to clean and organize my pantry…I know what a shocker! I am constantly grabbing things and putting them back in no particular order. I mean, I would like to be more organized about certain things, but this particular feat just gets away from me. You know who likes to do this? My wonderful and amazing husband, Matt. God bless him. He loves to straighten out the pantry and even the refrigerator. Are you saying ‘Whoa’ yet?! I know…I know…I love him too. We seriously balance each other out in so many ways and this is just a small area that most people wouldn’t even mention. For me this little thing he likes to do means so much to me. I feel I just have to tell the world…aaaahhh….thank you my love!
So what I found today, in the abyss I call my pantry, was a package of Turkish Apricots I bought at Whole Foods a while back. Oh, a little light-bulb went off and even though I’ve been stuck on date paste as my sugar alternative, I found myself making apricot paste. I love my date paste, but why not expand and make all kinds of fruit pastes.
Apricots are good for you too. They are rich in iron, potassium, vitamin A and fiber and the Turkish apricot is supposed to be the sweetest, tastiest of all the world’s apricots. I will have to make a different kind to test this and let you know. The apricot paste came out delicious and I was excited to test it out in this recipe and many others.
We are in desperate need of new granola snacks this week. They sure go quickly around here and I wanted something a little different. Since I am big into throwing quinoa into a lot of my recipes, here we go again and why not? It’s the Mother Grain and I love it.
I thought Quinoa Apricot Clusters sounded like fun. I googled to see if there was anything similar out there and I found these from Martha Stewart. I adapted mine into these cute little mini-cluster things or maybe they are more like flourless oat muffins. Whatever they are, they are REALLY good. I had to get my pictures done quickly because they kept disappearing off the plate!
Since I can’t decide whether they are muffins or granola clusters, I guess I will call them Quinoa, Apricot and Oat Muffin Clusters!
I think I like the sound of that.
Quinoa, Apricot and Oat Muffin Clusters
Author: Jennifer Strohmeyer-Virtually Vegan Mama
Recipe type: Breakfast
For the Apricot Paste: Makes 1 cup
- 1 cup of unsweetened dried apricots
- water for soaking
For the Quinoa, Apricot and Oat Muffin Clusters: Makes 24 Muffins
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup ground mixed nuts of choice (I used almonds, pecans and sunflower)
- ½ cup raisins or unsweetened dried fruit of your choice (I only had raisins, but would mix different kinds here next time)
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ½ cup apricot paste
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp warm water
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Apricot Paste
- Cover apricots with cold water and soak for 4-6 hours.
- Remove apricots and reserve water.
- Place apricots in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. If needed, adjust consistency with some of the reserved water.
- Store the apricot paste in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use as needed.
For the Quinoa, Apricot and Oat Muffin Clusters
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a non-stick muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, set aside.
- Mix together flaxseed meal with warm water and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together quinoa, oats, mixed nuts, and raisins.
- In separate mixing bowl, add almond butter, apricot paste, flaxseed meal, almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir until combined.
- Fold in dry ingredients and stir well.
- Spoon the granola mixture into each muffin cup filling almost to the top. Press mixture down firmly into each cup with the back of a spoon and/or your fingers. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing.
Enjoy these yummy and good for you treats….they are nutrient-rich and delish!
Are you wondering if I got my pantry organized…not a chance!
Okay, now I’m feeling guilty. I think I will try cleaning the pantry now.