Thursday, September 1, 2011

Exploring quinoa flour

A few months ago I was grocery shopping when quinoa flour jumped off the shelf right into my cart! (ok,  it caught my eye, my curiosity got the best of me and I purchased it).  Since I don't bake very often this poor quinoa flour has been sitting in my cupboard, patiently waiting to be played with.  Last night a chocolate craving hit and I got baking! Lucky for me, when sweet cravings strike I can distract myself by getting creative in the kitchen - somehow the craving magically disappears  (ok, so this is probably due to the spoonful of cookie batter I eat but hey, someone has to test the recipe before it goes in the oven!).

Back to quinoa flour. Actually, let's start with quinoa. Quinoa is a grain, very similar to rice or couscous. It's referred to as a superfood because it it is a good source of protein and fibre (ideal for vegetarians and vegans). It's also gluten free, so it's great for those who need to restrict gluten in their diet. Quinoa has become incredibly popular in North America in recent years and is available in most grocery, natural, and bulk food stores.

Quinoa flour is made from finely ground quinoa. It is slightly nutty in taste which is great for these chocolate nut cookies! Since it's a whole grain flour and gluten free, I was worried that the cookies would be dense and flat - much  to my surprise they were pretty fluffy and light! However, I do have one beef with quinoa flour - it smells bad!!! I worried when I was baking the cookies that they would taste as bad as they smelled - lucky for me, and my cookie-eating guests, the smell disappeared after baking and they tasted wonderfully delicious! Good thing too, 'cause there's nothing worse than a bad cookie!

Quinoa flour experiment = success!

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