One of the challenge ingredients my friend Deanne suggested this year was red bean paste. I wanted to find a non-traditional way to use red bean paste, something beyond the Asian specialties that incorporate the ingredient, such as mooncakes or Daifuku.
Then Suzanne, who is currently on a quinoa kick, sent me this recipe from Green Cilantro. I took a look at it and decide I could de-gluten the recipe and perhaps make it vegan as well as incorporate another suggested Ingredient, pomegranate. I also removed refined sugar from the recipe, using coconut palm sugar instead. (To completely remove refined sugar, choose a dried fruit sweetened with fruit juice. The pomegranate seeds I used contained sugar.)
I had never seen dried pomegranate seeds before and paid $7 for a small bag at my local grocer. I will choose another dried fruit, such as cranberries or raisins, for future batches. The pomegranate seeds add a bit of crunch that I didn’t care for in the muffins. That said, these are an incredibly moist muffin with a nice crumb. They have a slightly nutty flavor that I attribute to the quinoa flour. The result is a muffin that I would be proud to share with my friends at breakfast or for an afternoon nibble with tea.
Red Bean Pomegranate Muffins (makes 12 muffins)
Inspired by this recipe from Green Cilantro, which was inspired by this recipe from La vie in English
1 cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend
1 cup of quinoa flour
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 T. chia seed
1 t. baking soda
1 t. guar gum
1 c. almond milk
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 T. flax meal, dissolved in 6 T. hot water to make an egg replacement slurry (equivalent to 2 eggs)
1 1/3 cup mashed, cooked red beans (Azuki or Adzuki)
scant 1/2 cup dried pomegranate seeds or other dried fruit
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine gluten-free flour blend, quinoa flour, coconut palm sugar, chia seed, baking soda and guar gum.
In a small bowl, whisk the almond milk, grapeseed oil and flax meal slurry.
Pour the liquid mix into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Add in red bean paste, stirring just to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup dried pomegranate seeds or dried fruit.
In a greased muffin tin (or you may choose to use muffin papers), pour 1/3 cup of batter into each cavity. Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes. Using a cake tester or toothpick, test the center of a muffin. Toothpick will come out clean when they are done.
If you like Adzuki beans, check out the Adzuki bean burgers from Hillary’s Eat Well. They are the first item containing the high-protein Adzuki beans I had tried and I really, really enjoy them. I cook their burgers in the toaster. Yum!
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