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Lovely Distractions & a Recipe for Quinoa Nectarine Muffins

Quinoa Nectarine Muffins
It’s a hot summer evening and I’m sitting on my patio watching everything move around me. There are squirrels in the forest doing parkour {I could watch them all day}, and a strange spider creating a lair in my lavender. His web is in the way of my laptop, but I don’t have the heart to move the plant that holds the silky strands; he’s clearly been working hard on it.


I stare at my bicycle as it, too, tries to prevent me from getting my work done. There are leaves stuck in one of the springs near my brakes from the last time C and I rode through the trees {I wonder if the mud has dried up enough to go deeper into the forest…}. The sun is just beginning to reach me; it only arrives at this time of day as it first must make its way around the tall white spruce trees before it can shine its light on my home.

Quinoa Nectarine Muffins

The sound of a strange bird chirping pulls me away from my screen yet again. I just now notice the smell of a neighbor’s barbeque and my belly begins to grumble. A little bead of sweat trickles down my neck and I take note that my wine glass could use a refill.

More and more time goes by, and I accomplish nothing. There are too many distractions; summer is consuming me and there’s no point in fighting it. My belly grumbles again, but I can’t be bothered to start cooking now… it’s too hot out, and there’s too much to see {too much to do}. I reach for one of my Quinoa Nectarine Muffins; it’s filling enough to sustain me for a while… at least until I can go for that bike ride, absorb the heat of the short-lived sunshine, and fill up my glass of wine.

Quinoa Nectarine Muffins

It’s time to put work on hold for a little while. I take my last bite of the muffin, the little beads of quinoa crunch satisfyingly between my teeth. I better savour summer now, I think; and that strange little bird chirps in agreement.

Quinoa Nectarine Muffins
Makes 12

2 nectarines, diced
1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
2 egg whites
¼ cup grape seed oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners).

2. In a medium saucepan, combine diced nectarines, quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover, and bring to a boil; reduce heat, keep covered, and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

3. In a large bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a small bowl, whisk milk, sour cream, egg whites, oil, and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Add 2 cups of the cooked quinoa and nectarine mixture, as well as the milk mixture, to the large bowl with the flour; stir until combined.

4. Divide batter among the prepared muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven for 28-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean and the tops are golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Quinoa Nectarine Muffins


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