Quinoa Carrot Spice Muffins: Gluten-free

One of my lovely clients — who recently embarked on the gluten-free way of eating — passed this recipe my way. It’s so good — especially after I made a few minor modifications — I had to share it with you!

I was excited to try out this recipe because the only flour it contains is quinoa flour. I haven’t had a great experience with it in the past, but this muffin recipe is a hit (even with gluten-loving friends). The carrots give the muffins a super-moist texture and the coconut sugar provides a sweet hint of flavour. Since the recipe is also low on the glycemic index, you can also kiss cravings and imbalanced blood sugar goodbye.

A little bit about gluten-free diets before I get to the recipe. Many people think ditching gluten is a one-way ticket to eating whatever they want. They assume they’ll lose weight regardless of how much food they eat, which isn’t true. Most people with this mentality actually end up gaining weight and increasing their risk of inflammation and disease.

So choosing the right gluten-free products is the way to achieve a happy belly and better digestion. Be weary of the menagerie of gluten-free products at your health food store. Read the labels, look for sugar and salt content and avoid ingredients with names you can’t pronounce. And, please, avoid refined, processed gluten-free products (for example, white rice flour, cookies, cakes, etc.).


1-1/3 cup quinoa flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup soaked raisins
2 large eggs (vegan option: 2 tbsp chia + 6 tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes to become pudding-like)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2/3 cup organic full-fat yogurt (vegan option: swap to 1/2 cup almond milk)
2-1/4 cup grated carrots


Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder/soda and cinnamon. Stir until well blended. Mix in the raisins and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and plain yogurt. Stir in the grated carrot.

Using a spatula, gently stir the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until blended. Scoop the batter into muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick — when inserted into the muffins — comes out clean. Makes 12-15.
Upcoming Workshops in 2012:

Winter Eat Well Feel Well 6-wk nutrition + yoga class
Gluten-free Deliciously: Mar 10
Spring Detox: Apr 14
Feel Good Food: May 12

Joy McCarthy, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach of Joyous Health, loves to inspire others to eat well, live well and be happy.

Joy has clients from all over the world and consults via phone and Skype. Contact Joy today and take the first step.

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  1. Emily Mar 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    This looks delicious! However, I’m not familiar with coconut sugar–Is there something I could substitute?

    • Joy McCarthy Mar 8, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Yes, you could use sucanat — very easy to find nowadays. You can get it at most major grocery store chains in the health food section. Both sucanat and coconut sugar are better than white or brown sugar because they are less refined and lower in the glycemic index.

  2. sophie Mar 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    would reducing the sugar to 1/3 cup and adding stevia alter the results drastically?

    • Joy McCarthy Mar 8, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      Probably not. I haven’t tried it, so it will be an experiment for you. However, reducing it by only that much won’t make a huge difference.

      • sophie Mar 9, 2012 at 9:15 am #

        Then again, it’s 2/3 cup for 12-15 muffins.
        I need to stop fearing ALL sugar. After all, coconut sugar has some great things in it and it has a pretty low glycemic load, right?

  3. Betty Jan 10, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Joy, do you think the same amount of coconut milk or hemp milk, rather than almond milk, work to make them nut free?

    • Betty Jan 10, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Joy, do you think the same amount of coconut milk or hemp milk, rather than almond milk, would work to make them nut free?
      (I left the word “would” out in my previous comment. Submitted too quickly! :))

      • Joy McCarthy Jan 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

        Yes definitely.

  4. Noor Jan 10, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Would it be possible to substitute quinoa flour with almond flour?

    • Joy McCarthy Jan 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      You could try it but almond flour is much more dense and you may have trouble getting it to rise.

  5. Rebecca Feb 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    These are so good! I actually left out the sugar, added a mashed banana a TBLSP of maple syrup/ or agave would work and vanilla. I also replaced the yoghurt for 1/2 cottage cheese 1/2 milk (increasing the protein) – and they were still really good! Thanks for the recipe.

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