Quinoa-cranberry muffins with almond flour for a protein-packed breakfast on Meatless Monday

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No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

It's smart to bake up a batch of these quinoa-cranberry muffins made with wheat and almond flour early in the week; that way, you have a fast, easy, well-rounded breakfast for the rest of your mornings. Inspired by the almond-quinoa muffins in Veganomicon, this recipe has been adjusted for mile-high baking and tweaked to our tastes.

You will need:

Just under 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa 3/4 cup cold water pinch of salt 1 cup almond milk (coconut or soy will work, too) 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup agave nectar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup almond meal/almond flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a muffin tin.

1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine strainer for a couple of minutes -- it has a natural bittering agent that usually is rinsed off before you buy it, but just to be safe, give it a go under some running water. Place in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and add water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a slow simmer and cook (with the lid on) for fifteen minutes to half an hour, until the water is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside for later. 2. Whisk the milk and the ground flaxseed together in a medium bowl; let sit for a minute or two. Add the oil, agave nectar and vanilla to the milk mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. 3. In a large bowl, place the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix until just combined. 4. Fold in the quinoa and the cranberries. Perfect. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes (a toothpick poked in the center of a center muffin should come out clean).

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