Quinoa Trail Mix Muffins

quinoa trail mix muffin

Sometimes I pretend to know things that I do not… but only when I’m talking to the Pilot.

“Turn left here!”

“Are you sure?” 

“YES! Ok… no, not really.”

This is partially because I like to mess with him, and also partially because when I tell him things that are indeed fact, he asks me a few times just to be sure. It must be a pilot thing, because he’s always double and triple-checking the facts.

So, now I just state everything as fact, even when I don’t really know the answer. When I talk to other people about things I don’t really know, I’ll admit that I have no idea, or if it comes up in conversation, I’ll kind of mumble it.

organic quinoa

For example, it took me FOREVER to learn how to say “quinoa.”

When talking to the Pilot,”It’s kwin-oa. Duh.”

When talking to others:

“Ohh, what’s in the salad, Gina?”

“Just some chopped veggies, mint, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, and you know” 

You know = quinoa. Kwin oa. Or rather keen-wa.

Tomato, tomaaaahhhtoe. Right?

quinoa trail mix muffins

What I do know: these muffins came out even better than I anticipated. There’s no flour, just cooked quinoa and almond meal, so the texture is unique- soft and seed-y. Since they’re not very sweet on their own, adding in dried fruit and chocolate chips gives them the perfect amount of sweetness. They’re a great breakfast option along with an egg or crumbled on top of oats, or for an afternoon snack pick-me-up.

quinoa trail mix muffins 

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did <3


Quinoa Trail Mix Muffins

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  • 1 C quinoa, rinsed and boiled in 1 1/4 C water for 12 minutes- you want the quinoa to be almost cooked, but not super soft and mushy
  • 1 C almond meal (ground oats would work well, too)
  • 1/4 C maple sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 C almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/41/2 C chocolate chips (I think we all know which end of the spectrum I chose)
  • 1/4 C dried fruit
  • optional: 1/4 C nuts/seeds of choice – hemp seeds would be amazing


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a standard muffin pan with the mist or olive oil spray.
  2. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Scoop to mixture to fill 7 muffin tins all the way to the top- these won’t be rising.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. The hard part: let them cool completely in the muffin tins before removing. If, like me, patience is not your virtue: scoop one out warm, top with a slice of butter and enjoy with a fork.



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  1. Blog is the New Black on October 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I always said it wrong, too! I actually just made a super easy and delicious recipe using it (chili) from the Trader Joe’s cookbook. Yum!

  2. Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on October 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Would these work well with a flax egg instead? Would love to veganize this AMAZING concoction.

    • Fitnessista on October 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      totally would

  3. Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets on October 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    These are so adorable and packed with protein. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness on October 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    These look so good! I am so bad at pronouncing things too! There are certain words I won’t even attempt!!! Love that these are gluten free too! Can’t wait to try them out!

  5. Heather (Heather's Dish) on October 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    my old boss was the first person i ever met to eat quinoa and i totally tried the “you know” thing – didn’t work. oops πŸ˜‰

  6. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    haha Josh does the same thing with triple checking facts. Those muffins sound amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance on October 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I love the idea of using quinoa in muffins! And not quinoa flour . . . . using the actual quinoa must give it great texture. Can’t wait to try it. πŸ™‚

  8. Laura @ She Eats Well on October 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    These look so delicious and freezable. I am totally going to make these – I love using quinoa in these types of recipes. It’s such a good protein!

  9. Alexis @ Hummusapien on October 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    These look fab…totally making them tonight. I just bought some new TJ’s red quinoa…perfect timing! Was the water in the quinoa all absorbed after the 12 minutes or do you want some water leftover? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on October 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      no, the water was all absorbed
      let me know what you think!

  10. Christa @ Edible Balance on October 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    What a unique, and delicious looking recipe! Love the whole food/no flour approach… definitely trying these using flax or chia eggs!

  11. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige on October 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    YUM! I just made a batch of quinoa, too πŸ™‚ I think I’ll add some almond flour and the other ingredients and try ’em out tonight πŸ˜€

  12. natalie @ will jog for food on October 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Those look DEELISH!

    When I give my hubby directions, he only listens to certain directional words, haha.
    Me: Turn right after the next light
    Him: Turn right now?
    Me: No, AFTER the light?
    Him: Oh, the light I just passed?

    • Abby A on October 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      This happens with my husband too! We just went on a trip this last weekend- and I told him “get into to right lane because we’re going to get off at the next exit.” He heard “turn right NOW” and weaved across two lanes of traffic to get off at the wrong exit- then proceeded to blame me for “bad directions”! LOL

  13. Negar M on October 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    lol, I like kwin noa better, it sounds far less pretentious.

  14. Alicia Orozco on October 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Oh I so want my stove fixed so I can make these yummy looking treats!

    Btw, I can’t say quinoa either…I just point ^_^

  15. steph on October 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Hey Gina,
    These look awesome! Did you happen to calculate the nutrition info per muffin! Thank you!

    P.S., We ALL go through the “I don’t know how to pronounce this thing I cook all the time” phase with quinoa!

  16. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Best use EVER for quinoa! I love all the texture and how adorable they look all baked up! And the dried and chunky fruit peeking through!

  17. Abby A on October 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    These are in the oven as I write this…talk about inspiration! haha. I had all the ingridents on hand and thought “yes, that sounds good.” Done and done!

  18. Katie on October 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Don’t worry. I used to think “lingerie” was pronounced lin-jeer-ee. Whoops.

    I CANNOT wait to try these muffins πŸ™‚

  19. Mo on October 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    You are too funny . . . my husband tends to believe me cause I actually am usually right! And we like to pronounce things wrong on purpose – so kwin-oa it is! The only thing he doesn’t trust me about is directions. Before the days of GPS (omg, I love that thing), he would hand me the map so I could co-pilot. I would turn the map in the direction we were traveling – so when on the map we had to hang a right – it was really a right. Well, needless to say, I’m directionally challenged so he makes fun of me all the time. I always tell him since he’s Norwegian and of Viking heritage – he’s the explorer in the family.

    Take care and a Happy Halloween to you – do you have trick or treat tonight?


    • Mo on October 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      I’m sorry – I meant tomorrow night . . . silly me.

  20. Courtney on October 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    This recipe looks ahhhhh-sum!

  21. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I was saying quinoa wrong for the longest time too, and to be honest sometimes I still say it wrong on purpose because I prefer the sound of ‘qui-know-ah’ to ‘keen-wah’

  22. Krista on October 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Just found your blog today.. Love your baby food posts! And these quinoa muffins! I am definetly making these this week. Always looking for new ways to cook and eat quinoa! Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    • Fitnessista on October 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      hi krista! thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello πŸ™‚ let me know how you like the muffins!

  23. Allison @ Train Eat Repeat on October 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    oh yumm those look good! haven’t had quinoa for quite sometime now

  24. Ashley on October 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    i seriously had no idea that’s how its pronounced. I’ve ALWAYS called it kwin-oa!!! learn something new every day!!
    also, thanks for the recommendation for silhouette photography! just had little fam pics done and they were amazing! gotta wait a couple weeks to get the photo cd but we were very happy with the proofs! and we’d had a bit of a meltdown while there (read: inconsolable screaming/crying fit), and they were so professional and nice about the whole thing!

    • Fitnessista on October 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      ahh i’m so happy you liked it! melika and dominique are amazing πŸ™‚

  25. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on October 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Haha I totally call quinoa “kwinoa” sometimes too. It just sounds better to me! πŸ˜›

  26. Torie =) on October 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Haha! I used to pronounce it as kin-oh-ah until I saw the proper pronunciation on a package of quinoa. Those muffins look amazing! I’ll have to make them! You always have some really good recipes. Thank you for sharing them!

  27. Julia on October 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    These look amazing. Have you ever done them with fresh or frozen fruit – like blueberries?

  28. Camille on October 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Your blog has totally turned me onto quinoa! I’m a fanatic now and can’t wait to try these muffins.

  29. Alyson on October 31, 2012 at 12:21 am

    I love quinoa! I just made a a quinoa salad with defrosted frozen blueberries and roasted walnuts! I need to try quinoa in my muffins…yours seem like the perfect morning or midday snack!

  30. Gina @HealthLoveandChocolate on October 31, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Love the idea of quinoa for the base, yum!

  31. Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans on October 31, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    These look delicious! I’ll have to make them soon, I love that there’s not a ton of crazy flours in them, gluten-free baking can get a little crazy!

  32. Cher @ Weddicted on October 31, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    How creative!! πŸ™‚ Yum!

  33. Tina on November 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Hi ya, just made these subbing choc chips for 85% greens and blacks and honey instead of maple or sugar. The taste is awesome but they are more like pudding, pretty soggy and they are almost completely cooled down… Tips?

    • Fitnessista on November 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      the honey might have made them too sticky. i would sub a dry sugar, like brown sugar or sucanat if you don’t have maple sugar

      • Tina on November 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm

        Cool thanks! We are enjoying them as a “pudding” πŸ™‚

  34. Life's a Bowl on November 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Yum! I have a hugeee bag of quinoa from Costco that needs to get used! My momma is the worst at pronouncing things, especially Chipotle… She calls it Shhhi-po-tle, haha! My brother and I always have a good laugh πŸ˜›

  35. Madison @ Pilates Makes You Happy on November 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Just made these! So Amazing!

  36. Magda on November 4, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Hi Gina πŸ™‚ I made the muffins (only used flax egg instead of an egg) and they turned out great. I have one question though – do they have to be stored in the fridge or can I leave them at room temp (in a closed container, cause my cat is very interested in them ;))

    • Fitnessista on November 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      i’m so glad you liked them! i’d probably store them in the fridge

  37. Colleen on November 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I tried making these subbing coconut flour for almond meal, and it didn’t work too well. I had to add another egg and more almond milk to make them stick together, and they were still pretty dry and crumbly after baking. They were really easy to make, I’ll definitely try them again with the almond meal, or maybe some regular flour instead.

    • Colleen on November 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

      2nd try, used spelt flour in place of almond meal, added a tablespoon of coconut oil, and also added a teaspoon of baking powder. FANTASTIC! Glad I tried again!

  38. Alexis Barry on November 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    These look delicious! I’m always looking for a healthy breakfast option that I can grab as I’m running out the door. And that is pretty impossible! But these look really tasty and I’m excited to try them, even if I can’t pronounce the name πŸ™‚

  39. maggie on December 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Finally got around to making these! OMG, delicious. I had a bit shy of 1 cup quinoa.. and 1.3 cups of almond flour. They came out great. Definitely couldn’t wait for them to cool, so the spoon-butter-attack method happened.

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2012 at 1:12 am

      omg i’m so glad you reminded me of this recipe! i need to make some now too πŸ™‚

  40. allison on January 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    mmmm YUM! i think i might make a vegan version of these for work. they look awesome and i suck at muffins, so hopefully the difference in texture makes people love them!

  41. Annika Lutze on January 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I’m currently on a detox diet which doesn’t allow me to eat sugar, so substituting a teaspoon of honey instead of the sugar worked (I assume) just as well. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recipe!

    • Fitnessista on January 21, 2013 at 12:14 am

      i hope you love them!

  42. Erin on January 22, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Can we use whole wheat flour instead of the almond or coconut flour?


  43. Kelsey on November 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I just wanted to let you know that I have made these at least once a month since you posted them. I just love them. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

      yayy! these are some of my favorite, too πŸ™‚ so happy you’re enjoying them!

  44. Cat on April 13, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Just made them. They are so good. I added chia seeds and flaxseeds and because I added chocolate whilst quinoa was hot it melted them a bit. Worked great.

    • Fitnessista on April 13, 2014 at 11:54 am

      so happy you liked them!

  45. Melissa H on May 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I just attempted to make these. Quick question though…Is it 1 cup cooked quinoa or 1 cup uncooked and then however much it produces after the quinoa absorbs the water?

    • Fitnessista on May 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      one cup uncooked quinoa that you cook in 1 1/4 cups water for about 12 minutes. it will end up yielding about 3 cups since it isn’t fully cooked

      • Melissa H on May 15, 2014 at 8:57 pm

        Okay that’s what I ended up doing but it ended up making at least 12 muffins. More muffins is always better πŸ™‚

  46. Jaima on July 25, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Gina! Long time reader here. Love your blog. I must say I just tried these muffins subbing coconut flour per suggestion in your post. I wish I has read comments before making as just as another reader states coconut flour does not work….like at all. I added an additional eggs and more almond milk and they simply crumbled out of the oven. They were super dry too. Just thought you might want to remove that comment from recipe re coconut flour. If I was a new reader I probably wouldn’t come back, but people totally should because your recipes are usually spot on. I’m going to try these again once I pick up some almond meal because they sound amazing. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on July 25, 2014 at 10:30 am

      hi jaima,
      thank you for letting me know! i should have said shredded coconut. coconut flour is SO THIRSTY and will literally zap all the moisture out of certain recipes. i will adjust it. thank you.

      • Jaima on July 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        Thanks, Gina! I’m a coconut flour newbie so thanks for the tip!

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