Cinnamon quinoa muffin tops

Hi friends!! Happy Friday ๐Ÿ™‚ What are you up to this weekend?

The past couple of days, Iโ€™ve been experimenting with the quinoa flakes:


If you pick some of these up, donโ€™t even try eating it cooked plain with a dash of sea salt.

Its 100% gaggable.

quinoa (2)

The quinoa flakes are much more edible with some blueberries, cacao powder, protein, and decaf espresso powder


but still not fab.

Quinoa flakes are like a mushy, tasteless version of cream of wheat. If you compare them to oats, they hide away in the corner and cry.

In baked goodie form, howeverโ€ฆ.

cookies (2)

Cinnamon Quinoa Muffin Tops

Adapted from my brain

Gluten-free, vegan, foodgasmic

-1 flax egg (1 T ground flax dissolved in 3 T almond milk)

-2 T cashew butter (almond would be lovely too)

-1/4 C maple syrup (can sub agave if you wish)

-1  t vanilla

-1/2 C quinoa flakes

-1/2 C quinoa flour (or flour of choice)

-1/2 t baking powder

-1/2 t cinnamon

-1/4 t baking soda

-pinch of sea salt

-Optional: chocolate chips, chopped apples, chopped nuts, dried fruit

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a mixing bowl, combine the flax egg, cashew butter, maple syrup and vanilla until well-blended.

2. In separate bowl, using a fork as a whisk, combine the quinoa flakes, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. If youโ€™re using mix-ins add the dry mix-ins with the dry ingredients (like chopped nuts or chocolate chips) and the wet ingredients to the cashew butter/syrup mixture (like chopped apples or fruit)

3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in batches to the wet mixture. Avoid over-mixing.

Take a photo ๐Ÿ™‚


4. Using a melon ball scooper, scoop the mixture onto the cookie sheet, evenly spaced apart.


5. Bake for 10 minutes at 350. Leave on the baking sheet for 1 additional minute and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

cookies (3)

6. Enjoy topped with a smear of almond butter, a drizzle of melted butter or solo



AMAZING. Light, fluffy, not too sweet.

Iโ€™m very glad I made those after teaching last night, especially since dinner ended up being a fail.


It was my first time steaming fish and for the record, 20 minutes is too long :/ It was like a large, chewy, white eraser.

I washed it down with two muffin tops ๐Ÿ™‚

(For the record, I LOATHE the phrase โ€œmuffin topโ€ unless itโ€™s being used for baked goods. Donโ€™t ever say you have a muffin topโ€ฆ unless itโ€™s the kind I can eat. I will come through the screen and ninja kick you, mmm k?)


Well Iโ€™m off to make some b-fast and then get ready for work.

Hope you have a fabulous Friday! See ya later today with my spring shopping list ๐Ÿ™‚



Something to think:

โ€œWhen it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.โ€ -Confucius

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  1. Heather Eats Almond Butter on February 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

    They make decaf espresso powder?!? I must find some ASAP. I have the regular stuff but still off caffeine, and I miss my mocha infused oats and baked goods.

    Have a good weekend Gina!

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

      they do! let me know if i can send you a care package ๐Ÿ™‚
      love you friend

  2. Natalie @ Will Jog For Food on February 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Glad to know you found something yummy for quinoa flakes! Those muffin tops look delish ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Steph on February 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I have some quinoa flakes sitting in my pantry after trying them in hot cereal form – barf. Now I have a use for them!

  4. Mandy (theamazonprincess) on February 11, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Those muffin tops sound/look faaaab! ๐Ÿ™‚ And you are making me soo jealous posting pictures of flowers like that…I can’t wait for spring!

  5. Gillian Young on February 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I love quinoa flakes! I find they need a sweet kick to balance out the bitterness – and maple syrup and sea salt to the trick beautifully!

  6. Mimi on February 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

    For your detox-diet sake, I’m glad they make quinoa flakes. For my sake, I’m glad you shared this recipe! (:

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 11:19 am


  7. Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete on February 11, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I’ve never seen quinoa flakes. Is that the recipe on the box (cooked plain with sea salt?) That does not sound good at all!

    I love your recipe “adapted from my brain” — makes me think of the first paper I wrote in high school. It was the first time I had to use a Reference page and I remember putting “My own personal knowledge” as one of my references. I think I got a C ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 11:19 am

      hahaha! awesome

  8. Courtney on February 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

    The difference in how the quinoa looks is ridiculous! Helpful comparison because I agree at first glance – totally gaggable. Happy Friday!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Jaclyn on February 11, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Haha those look, um, interesting….
    good weekend to you!

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 11:33 am

      by interesting you mean delicious right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Jessica@FruitandVeggieTales on February 11, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Oh my goodness, I am soooooo excited to try these! I am terrible at creating my own recipes and we are gluten free now… Muffin Tops?!?!?! I can’t wait! My baby girl will loooove them and I love one-handed snacks!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on February 11, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Agreed. Quite nasty in tha bowl, but SO good in baked items! Love muffin tops! (the edible kind;))

  12. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on February 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I’ve never tried quinoa flakes but thanks for the info! I’d probably have tried them in the way that I normally eat quinoa and would have been terribly disappointed. I also can’t stand the word muffin tops!

  13. Krystina (Organically Me) on February 11, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I love that quote so much.

  14. hippierunner on February 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I love the title of the post. Those muffin tops look like they have a nice texture!

  15. Felicia (A taste of Health with Balance) on February 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

    ouhh i love this! think honey would sub okay for the maple syrup? great idea to use up quinoa flakes.. totally agree on the flavor/texture as a breakfast! bleh

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 11:50 am

      yep it should totally work- they might be super sticky and sweet, so maybe 1/2 honey and the oil half oil?

  16. rebecca lustig on February 11, 2011 at 11:46 am

    oh my muffin. You had me at ‘foodgasmic’. Mmm ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Sana on February 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Bahaha! I can see your sweats in the mixing bowl! Too cute!

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 11:49 am

      and my socks! haha so hot ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. nicole on February 11, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Interesting recipe! I wouldn’t think to use quinoa in a muffin recipe but I’m sure it’s a lot healthier. Can’t wait for your fashion post!

  19. Parita@myinnershakti on February 11, 2011 at 11:55 am

    It’s funny how regular quinoa is so good, but the flakes aren’t. I’m glad you posted on this because if I saw quinoa flakes in the store, I would definitely buy them and then they’d end up collecting dust somewhere. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the quote at the end…so true!

  20. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine on February 11, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Why mess with a good thing when it comes to oats, right? I’m glad you found a yummy use for the flakes instead, though ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Adapted from my brain”…haha I love it!

  21. Leanne (For Health's Sake) on February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Are those some flowers from the Pilot? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I laughed so hard at the ninja kick comment!

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      nope, i buy myself flowers all the time haha

  22. One Healthy Apple on February 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Good to know that quinoa flakes need some help and can’t be eaten by themselves (well, for the tastebuds sake). This is also true for amaranth. It tastes like dirt.

    The cookies look really good- can’t wait to try them!

  23. Amanda (Eating Up) on February 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Good to know what does and doesn’t work!

  24. stepf on February 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I laughed so hard I almost spit out my tea when I read that bit about ninja-kicking someone! haha. I’ll return to lurking now, friend. (Like you, I lurk but don’t comment much!)

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      haha thanks friend!
      love you!

  25. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on February 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Ohh, good thing I didn’t go running off getting these to eat as my morning oats! I like oats but not cream of wheat.

  26. lindsey on February 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Good to know they are not a good replacement for oats. I’ve been eying them, hoping they would be a good way to change it up in the mornings. Guess I’ll pass — unless it is to make goodies!

    Quinoa (regular) does make a great risotto, though! I made one last night using quinoa, veggie stock, sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions. it was fab.

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      yuuuuum. i might have to try that- i’ve been hankering for mushrooms!

  27. mi-an dela cruz on February 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    i’m a fish face and i know 20 mins is too long to steam a fish. i would say for a small piece of fish… 5 mins. ๐Ÿ™‚ glad your quinoa lab turned out awesome! and p.s. i also loathe the words muffin tops unless it’s the edible kind!

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      hahah OOPS ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) on February 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Never tried quinoa flakes but those muffin tops look delish! As for steaming fish- I never steam it more than 10 mins! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. LauraJayne on February 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I’m so with you – I hate the term “muffin top.” It makes something so totally delicious have a bad connotation! Your muffin tops look delish!

  30. Allie on February 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    i love the reflection in the mixing bowl, it totally made me laugh. the recipe sounds great and thanks for the warning. i have been staring at my box of flakes and now i know what not to do!

  31. Ashley on February 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    BAhahahaa!!! I have had quinoa flakes in my cupboard for about a year now and used them 2-3 times. You’re right..not that great. I think the best way to prepare them for breakfast is tropical style, with coconut butter/oil, mango, almonds/almond butter, shredded coconut. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Tina on February 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I had the quinoa flakes for breakfast recently. I made them with cinnamon, pumpkin spice, maple syrup, vanilla and cacao nibs and they weren’t bad! I definitely prefer oats and oat bran, but it was a nice change. I would try giving them another shot! You could also use them for a savory dish…or bake more cookies with them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. Mandiee on February 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I love the muffin top idea. Do you think they would work with gluten-free oat flour or coconut flour, too? I’m just making my first foray into the gluten-free baking arena and never know whether they will stay together or not. To use the gum, or not to use the gums, that is the question…

    Have a lovely day!

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      they should totally work with GF flour

  34. Christin@purplebirdblog on February 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Mmmmm, giant eraser! Sounds horrible ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. Namaste Gurl on February 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I love how your on such a qunioa kick! I’ll have to try me some quinoa flakes- i’m sure they’d be delicious smothered in coconut butter and banana ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Katie on February 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Happy Friday Gina!

    mmmmmmmmmmmm I want some of those smothered with Almond Butter! Yum!

  37. Allison @ Food For Healing on February 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Oh how i’ve missed your blog, i recently got home from my mexican vacation! i’ve got a little catching up, but love to see things havent changed!

  38. Hannah on February 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I tried quinoa flakes too….they are nasty!! Baking with anything though probably makes them taste a load better!

  39. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on February 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    ha, I love the “adapted from my brain”. Great recipe!!

  40. Ashley on February 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Looks like a DELISH recipe!

  41. sarah @ eatliveaustin on February 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    those cookies look absolutely fabulous! raisins or chopped apples in there sounds divine!
    i’ve never heard of such a quinoa flakes though. it sounds kind of redundant, with the quinoa flour and all. could the cookies be made with all quinoa flour or flakes?

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      i wouldn’t do it- from what i gather, the flakes add crunch and texture– they would be crunchy blobs without the flour. you could prob use only flour though!

  42. Annette on February 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    In the middle of adjusting my action steps ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks Confucious/Gina!!

  43. Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! on February 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I like your determination with the quinoa flakes! That first drab bowl may have turned me off forever! Glad the muffin tops worked out so well ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Moni'sMeals on February 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    good to know more about some facts the qiunoa flakes. Thanks Gina’s Brain.

    Great quote. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Jackie on February 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I once tried quinoa flakes as a hot cereal…i took two bites and threw it out. it was so gross.

  46. Doc (The Healthy PhD) on February 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I hate, hate, hate quinoa. I have tried to eat it a dozen different ways and I don’t enjoy it period. So kudos to you for trying it until it worked for you – I know you eat it in whole form pretty often, so someday I’ll try to come back to it!

  47. Julia on February 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Do you and your husband own a Lululemon?

    • Fitnessista on February 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      i WISH. they were franchised for a short time, but are now corporately owned

  48. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on February 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    This: “Its 100% gaggable.”

    I have actually tried those quinoa flakes years ago when I first started my GF journey. And oh my, coming from gluten and swinging the pendulum all the way to those…yes, my sentiments exactly. I like regular quinoa, just not the flakes like that.

    However those muffins you made look wonderful! And adapted from…your brain. So cute ๐Ÿ™‚

    Fish and steaming…fish cooks so fast sometimes that 18 mins may have been perfect and 20 was way too much. So hard to tell but sorry for the fail.

    Enjoy your weekend, Gina!

  49. Carla on February 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    These look great and totally kid friendly! Going to make some this weekend for their lunchs! THANKS!

  50. Libby on February 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I love your new book idea!

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