Due to a fortuitous reduction in the price of Quinoa flour at a local health shop I have purchased some to try baking with it, for you. I decided to bake some blondies – ginger ones, or may be I should call them gingies! I love the flavour ginger – in fact ALL things ginger. Now THIS particular quinoa flour, according to the packet, is sugar-free, saturated fat-free, cholesterol free, trans fat-free, sodium free, low-fat, (as is all flour – nothing new here, then ) non-gmo, gluten-free AND ‘caution extremely organic’ – but not that funny – or clever! What they forgot to tell me was wheat free, milk free, egg free but unfortunately no mention of nuts. Really great then? The protein content of the flour is not really that high at 4g /100g but quinoa has a good amino acid profile as a grain, although the flour is a fine milled white flour (- contains some fibre though at 3.5g/100g,) so it cannot be assumed that the amino acid profile is exactly the same as the raw grain. It has not been tested for fermentable carbohydrate content although quinoa grain itself is completely suitable for people following a low FODMAP diet.
So how easy was it to use? My first attempt was a bit of a culinary disaster. I added some zanthan gum and 2 teaspoons of ginger and a small amount of chopped stem ginger. This resulted in a very gloopy texture and after baking, on tasting, the slice was really strongly flavoured, not that pleasant in fact. The taste reminded me of the taste of chickpea flour, again this is fine to use, but I would suggest that as both these flours impart a very strong flavour to baked items it might be better to use them for very strongly flavoured dishes. My second attempt was better and as I increased the ginger flavouring the taste was very much improved.
As part of a flour mix this flour would be suitable, as other free from flours, such as rice or teff as these should reduce the flavour. So was it worth the purchase – at full cost, or even discounted? I feel that the ‘benefits’ of this type of flour should not command such a high cost. Most people will not be able to afford to purchase and include it in their diet on a regular basis, so nutritionally you are not likely to see the benefits of the amino acids; gut ‘calmness’ wise – there are other options to choose, which do not impart strong taste or flavour. So I will not be buying this flour on a regular basis. However for your enjoyment I have included the recipe for you – you could try it with other flour mixes! Also as this recipe is high in fats and sugars the gingie is really just suitable for an occasional treat. The random images in the post are my whistful desire for summer – it’s really cold today.
135 g Quinoa Flour (or other free from flour)
120 g dairy free margarine
100 g of dark muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon of crystallised ginger liquor
3 teaspoons of powdered ginger
40 g of chopped crystallised ginger
Pinch of salt
Chopped dried ginger to decorate
Melted dark chocolate with ginger to decorate (milk free if needed.)
Add the flour, ginger & salt to a mixing bowl
Melt the margarine in a pan with the sugar, and chopped crystalline ginger and ginger liquor, warm slowly do not boil.
Cool the melted mixture slightly, add the two eggs and mix well.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients then add the mix to a paste. Add this to a tray and bake at gas mark 5 for 25 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack and melt the chocolate and pour this over and sprinkle with finely chopped dried ginger pieces.