Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins from Ricki Heller

Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins from Ricki Heller

Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins from Ricki Heller

March Muffin Madness continues on with Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins from Ricki Heller. Ricki’s recipe is full of nutritional goodness—and taste really good, too! Don’t we all love it when that’s the case? Her muffins are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and vegan, with a refined sugar-free option.

Enjoy learning more about Ricki and her Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins (see the whole line-up of bloggers, blogs, and muffin recipes here) and be sure to leave a comment on today’s post to enter the MMM giveaway that will be conducted on March 31 and includes three different muffin pans (mini 24-cup, steel 12-cup, or cast iron 6-cup), an immersion blender, a spiral vegetable slicer, an electric pressure cooker, a 12-cup food processor, and—the best of all!a Blendtec all-in-one-kitchen appliance (with a Wildside Jar)! Thanks again to the folks at Blendtec for sponsoring our Super Grand Prize! Please remember that EVERY comment in the series will be an entry for the final giveaway, so if you’ve missed some posts, take a moment and visit them and leave a single comment on each to get in the maximum number of entries. (FYI: You can also check out all the prizes on the sidebar right beside this post.)


Ricki’s motto is “a healthy lifestyle can be sweet!” and you’ll find that motto illustrated weekly on her blog, With only whole foods ingredients, a generous pinch of humor and input from her two chatty canines, Ricki shares gluten-free, allergy-friendly, sugar-free recipes that everyone will enjoy.

Ricki’s second cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free, offers gluten-free, vegan recipes all made with natural, low-glycemic sweeteners. It was an Amazon bestseller from day one! (Read my review here.)

Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free, Ricki Heller

Her first book, Sweet Freedom, is one of only three cookbooks recommended by Ellen DeGeneres on her website. Ricki has also published three ebooks for anyone on an anti-candida diet.

You can also find Ricki’s recipes and articles in a number of publications. Currently, she is working on her fourth book, Candida-Free Living (Da Capo), which is both a cookbook and guidebook on how to live happily and thrive on the anti-candida diet.

Ricki Heller Bio Pic

Ricki Heller

I’ve written about Ricki a few times on gfe. I “met” Ricki several years back via her blog, which was formerly called Diet, Dessert and Dogs. (FYI: Don’t dismay … Ricki’s dogs—“the girls” that all of us who follow Ricki’s blog love to read about—are still very much in the picture.) Ricki and I became really good “online” friends almost instantly and, happily, we finally got to meet in real life last summer. It was such a treat!

Honestly, everyone loves Ricki! She’s a dear … super friendly and so helpful and supportive to all. Plus she’s so entertaining in her posts and, of course, the part everyone especially loves—her awesome gluten-free recipes! Her recipes also happen to be refined sugar free (often totally sugar free), and vegan (which means dairy free and egg free, too, of course). You truly won’t miss a thing in her recipes because Ricki is a gifted recipe developer.

Today Ricki’s sharing a recipe for apple muffins which by definition are a classic, but she wanted to increase the protein and overall nutrition in her muffins. So she added some other healthier ingredients, primarily cooked quinoa, to her recipe. Ricki confessed that she had tried adding cooked quinoa to muffin recipes before and the results were always way unpleasantly soggy. But then she started experimenting with adding psyllium and magic occurred. The results of that magic are these “perfect whole grain breakfast muffins”!


 Ricki’s Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins Recipe

Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins from Ricki Heller
Recipe type: Breakfast, Dessert
Serves: 10
  • 2 whole medium sweet apples, cored and grated, with or without skin (about 2 cups UNpacked grated apple)
  • ⅔ cup coconut sugar (or use brown sugar)
  • ⅓ cup sunflower or other light-tasting oil
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup raisins or goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond or soy milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup Ricki’s All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix (or other all-purpose GF flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder (or use cinnamon)
  • 1 Tbsp whole psyllium husks
  • ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats (not instant or quick-cook)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 10 muffin tins with paper or silicone liners, or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, coconut sugar, oil, quinoa, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, pecans, raisins and flax seeds to allow the coconut sugar to begin to dissolve.
  3. Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 5-Spice powder over the wet mixture. Add the psyllium husks and oats and stir everything just to combine.
  4. Using a large ice cream scoop or ⅓ cup measuring cup, heap the mixture into the muffin cups, filling them quite full (they will not rise any more while baking, so make the tops as high as you can). The mixture may seem as if it’s not sticking together enough, but don’t worry; it will become more cohesive as it bakes.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through baking, until a tester inserted in a center muffin comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before eating (the muffins will be more fragile while warm, but will hold together fine once cool).
Makes 10 muffins. May be frozen.

Notes: The whole psyllium husks are a critical ingredient in this recipe. There are no suitable substitutions for them and they cannot be omitted.


This post is linked to Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Fridays, Whole Food Fridays, and Wellness Weekends.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


47 Responses to “Apple-Quinoa Breakfast Muffins from Ricki Heller”

  1. cheryl harris on March 21st, 2014 4:37 pm

    So jealous that you’ve gotten to meet Ricki in person! These look gorgeous.

  2. Megan on March 21st, 2014 4:49 pm

    These sound interesting and delicious!

  3. Linda S on March 21st, 2014 4:59 pm

    These sound amazing! One question: Is it an absolute necessary to use the psyllium husks? I’d really love to try these.

    • Shirley on March 21st, 2014 5:13 pm

      Linda–Yes, as the recipe notes, the psyllium husks are a requirement.


  4. Laurel on March 21st, 2014 7:15 pm


  5. Ricki on March 21st, 2014 8:37 pm

    Shirley, thank you so much for this incredible introduction and for including my recipe in your event! I’m so glad we did get to meet last summer–that evening remains one of the very best highlights of the season for me. We should make it an annual tradition! :D xoxo

  6. Susan reed on March 21st, 2014 10:26 pm

    Yummy! Breakfast tomorr

  7. Amanda (amethystjean) on March 21st, 2014 10:32 pm

    I love ricki who somehow makes things that work with my allergies yet are delicious. Thank you!

  8. Mary Tokar on March 22nd, 2014 8:34 am

    Great breakfast idea!

  9. Susan on March 22nd, 2014 11:40 am

    Interesting that this recipe uses cooked quinoa! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Carina on March 22nd, 2014 3:15 pm

    I love quinoa, but haven’t baked with it. Can’t wait to try these!

  11. patricia on March 22nd, 2014 3:40 pm

    I have just started using quinoa and really like it. These will be a must try.

  12. kinsey on March 22nd, 2014 5:15 pm

    I dont know how I missed this one….yummy

  13. Marilyn Barnes on March 22nd, 2014 6:08 pm

    So appreciate no regular sugars as well as gluten free. Can’t wait to try these. Just need a few more ingredients.

  14. Kiva, FarmsteadLady on March 22nd, 2014 9:50 pm

    These look tasty and I have some quinoa in the pantry. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. Emily on March 23rd, 2014 2:13 am

    I love that these use whole quinoa. They are going on my list of recipes to try soon!

  16. Bev on March 23rd, 2014 10:41 am

    Sound very good!

  17. Venessa F. on March 23rd, 2014 11:21 am

    I can’t wait to try these!

  18. Rachel L on March 23rd, 2014 4:27 pm

    I love using quinoa in baking.

  19. Katie on March 25th, 2014 11:06 am

    I never considered using Chinese 5 spice powder in a muffin before….sounds great!

  20. Erin on March 25th, 2014 3:54 pm

    Yummy and healthy!

  21. Pamela Hurlbert on March 25th, 2014 5:17 pm

    I love quinoa and this is a keeper.

  22. susan reed on March 25th, 2014 9:18 pm

    tried them – 5 stars – thanks

  23. Tessa@TessaDomesticDiva on March 25th, 2014 10:46 pm

    I love how Ricki puts together creative ingredients….and this recipe is no exception!

  24. Mackenzie on March 26th, 2014 11:55 am

    YUM! I’ve been looking for a healthy and gluten free and Delicious breakfast muffin recipe! Easy for on-the-go life :)

  25. Cindy W. on March 26th, 2014 3:46 pm

    These muffins sound wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  26. julie on March 26th, 2014 9:18 pm

    I have everything but the psyllium husks, I have to get some. this recipe looks great.

  27. Teufelchen on March 27th, 2014 11:44 am

    They look really good, but I need to replace the quinoa and oats before I can try them and I hate baking things I cannot eat.

  28. Stephanie on March 27th, 2014 5:10 pm

    Bet this would be good with quinoa flakes instead of rolled oats if anyone can’t have oats.

  29. Wendy on March 28th, 2014 9:26 pm

    I was expecting quinoa flour, not cooked quinoa. Very interesting! I wouldn’t have thought of using it cooked.

  30. Lewann Rice on March 30th, 2014 12:52 am

    This sounds good, I haven’t mastered cooking with quinoa and I am excited to try this recipe out!

  31. Susan on March 30th, 2014 2:01 am

    these look healthy and delicious!

  32. Janelle on March 30th, 2014 9:49 am

    I would like to give these a try! Thanks for the recipe!

  33. Rebecca S on March 31st, 2014 1:56 am


  34. Laura O| Petite Allergy Treats on March 31st, 2014 9:11 pm

    Apples and muffins are just meant to be!

  35. Laureen on March 31st, 2014 9:23 pm

    You had me at apple!

  36. tina on March 31st, 2014 9:24 pm

    These look fantastic. Always looking for new ways to use quinoa, thanks!

  37. Bri on March 31st, 2014 10:33 pm


  38. Carrie on March 31st, 2014 10:45 pm

    These sound amazing! Love Ricki’s recipes!

  39. Ilissa on March 31st, 2014 11:21 pm

    Quinoa! Very cool!

  40. Sarah on March 31st, 2014 11:26 pm

    Great idea to add quinoa to a muffin recipe!

  41. Lori Lewis on March 31st, 2014 11:32 pm

    No matter how I serve quinoa my kids just won’t eat it – maybe I can trick them by making it in muffins! Muahahaha!

  42. Lindsey on April 1st, 2014 12:00 am

    These sound perfect!

  43. Amanda on April 8th, 2014 12:19 pm

    Thanks, Ricki! I just added your Naturally Sweet and GF cookbook to my Amazon account. Yum!

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