What’s a “complete” protein? (+ strawberry quinoa scones)

It’s been a pretty horrific week here in America.  For some reason, a lot of really scary things have happened in a short span of time – starting with the bombing at the Boston marathon, then an explosion of a fertilizer plant in Texas, and strong storms in the west and midwest.  This picture went around on Instagram, from Chicago:

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One minute: car.  Next minute: honey, WHERE’S THE CAR?!

Now, I know a lot of places in the world are struggling a lot more than we are, and people  outside the US lose life and limb on regular basis.  But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel a little rocked this week, a little bit off.  My yoga teacher Abby* pointed out that when times are tough, and we feel dejected and heavy, the best thing to do is to refocus and find gratitude.  In the midst of everything, we still have many things to be grateful for, and it’s comforting to take strength from taking stock of the good stuff.  Her assignment to us today was to do something nice for someone else, and something nice for ourselves.

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My nice thing for myself was making strawberry quinoa scones – a complete source of protein.  Scones and protein, what?  Quick back story: traditional scones are mostly white flour and butter, maybe with an egg and some sugar in there.  Not exactly offering you much in the way of nutrients.  Quinoa, meanwhile, is a whole grain that’s a “complete” protein, meaning it has all 9 essential amino acids.  There are 20 total amino acids, but as long as you eat the 9 it can’t make (ie, “essential”), your body can reconfigure those into all the other ones.  Not to mention that it’s also really high in fiber – a “slow carb” if there ever was one!

Strawberry Quinoa Scones

Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp butter

Wet:

  • 1/2 c buttermilk (or regular milk with a hit of lemon juice, if you don’t have buttermilk!)
  • 1 1/2 c fresh strawberries
  • 1 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 sugar in the raw (for sprinkling on top; optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425F. Combine the first 3 dry ingredients in a blender and pulse, then add the butter and use a dough setting (or just pulse) to mix and create fine, even crumbs.  Dump into a large mixing bowl.

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Then put all the wet ingredients in the blender.  Blend them.

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Combine with a spatula into the dry ingredients; don’t overmix.

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Use two spoons to put on a baking sheet (I made 6).  Slice a strawberry to put in the center of each.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until brown and slightly firm to touch.

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Enjoy with tea.  I made these rather huge, in retrospect, and they could/should probably be half the size.  As they are, they’re about the same amount of calories as a Starbucks scone, but with 20g less carbs, and double the protein and fiber.

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I’ll pass along Abby’s assignment: do something nice for someone else (a stranger! Someone you’re mad at!  Someone you love!) and something loving for yourself.

*More about Abby, since it’s #FollowFriday…she is not only a yoga teacher at Quiet Mind Yoga, but also my masseuse, and she. Is. Fannnntastic. At both.  I highly recommend her, and if you’re not in the area, then try to find that combo of yoga/massage specialist, because she knows where my tight spots are from working on me, and can correct and improve my positions in class.  She is definitely one of the blessings in my life, and I am very grateful for her :)

4 thoughts on “What’s a “complete” protein? (+ strawberry quinoa scones)

  1. I work at the food bank in Niagara falls as the community garden coordinator and am going to our farmer’s market this Saturday to promote local strawberries. Guess what I’m making? Your yummy scones! Thanks for sharing. Jo

  2. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, youu could be a grezt author.
    I will be suree to bookmark your blog and may come badk at some point.

    I want to encourage yourself too continue your great writing, have a nice evening!

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