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These broccoli cheddar quinoa bites are a perfect healthy snack! A good source of protein and low in carbs. Great for you or your baby!
Looking for a new way to use quinoa? If so, you are going to love this recipe! These broccoli cheddar quinoa bites are easy to make and tasty!
They also make great food prep for the week when you are craving a healthy snack. Each bite is filled with quinoa, broccoli bits, cheese, and spices. Eat them as is or use them as a side dish.
I love how these bites are perfectly portioned by baking with a muffin dish. This makes it super easy to grab a quick bite or to serve to my baby. He loves these broccoli cheddar quinoa bites and I hope you do too!
Broccoli – A Nutrient Powerhouse
Broccoli is the star of this dish, and for good reason. It’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. These nutrients help support a healthy immune system and maintain strong bones.
But there’s more to broccoli than just vitamins. It’s also rich in antioxidants like sulforaphane, which may have cancer-fighting properties.
Additionally, broccoli provides dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness, making it an excellent choice for those looking to manage their weight.
Cheddar Cheese – Creamy and Flavorful
Cheddar cheese adds a creamy texture and a burst of flavor to our quinoa bites. It’s an excellent source of calcium and protein, making it a satisfying and nutritious addition.
Calcium is crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth, while protein helps repair and build tissues.
The combination of these two nutrients in cheddar cheese makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a snack that’s both delicious and nutritious.
Quinoa – The Ancient Superfood
Quinoa, often hailed as a superfood, provides a complete source of protein, making it ideal for vegetarians and vegans. It’s also high in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps you feel full longer.
In addition to its protein and fiber content, quinoa is a fantastic source of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It contains iron, magnesium, and potassium, which play vital roles in various bodily functions, including oxygen transport, muscle contraction, and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Preparing the Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites
Steam the Broccoli
Begin by steaming the broccoli until it’s tender. This step ensures that the broccoli is easy to incorporate into the mixture. You can either use a steamer or simply blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes.
Steaming is an excellent cooking method for broccoli, as it helps preserve its nutritional value. Unlike boiling, where some nutrients can leach into the water, steaming allows the broccoli to retain most of its vitamins and minerals.
Cook the Quinoa
Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. It’s important to rinse it thoroughly before cooking to remove any bitterness. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin, which can impart a bitter taste if not properly rinsed.
Quinoa cooks relatively quickly, usually in about 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the grains become translucent and you can see the little spiral germ separating from the seed. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork to give it a light, fluffy texture.
Combine the Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine the steamed broccoli, cooked quinoa, and shredded cheddar cheese. This mixture forms the base of our quinoa bites. The combination of warm quinoa and cheddar cheese will create a delightful creamy texture, while the broccoli adds a fresh crunch.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure an even distribution of flavors. You can also add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste at this stage.
Season to Taste
Add your favorite seasonings and spices to enhance the flavor. Garlic powder, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper work wonders here. You can also experiment with herbs like basil, thyme, or rosemary for a fragrant twist.
Remember, seasoning is where you can get creative and tailor the bites to your preferences. If you prefer a spicier kick, consider adding a dash of cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes.
Shape and Bake
Shape the mixture into bite-sized portions and place them on a baking sheet. You can use your hands or a spoon to create uniform bites. To prevent sticking, you can lightly grease the baking sheet or use parchment paper.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy on the outside. Keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking; you want them to be crispy but not dry.
Why Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites?
These bites offer a healthier alternative to traditional snacks. With their combination of broccoli, quinoa, and cheese, they provide essential nutrients in every bite. When you choose these bites over chips or other processed snacks, you’re making a nutritious choice that benefits your body.
Portability and Convenience
Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites are perfect for on-the-go snacking. Pack them in your lunchbox, take them to picnics, or enjoy them as a mid-afternoon snack at work. Their convenient size and easy-to-eat nature make them a practical option for busy individuals and families.
Versatility in Serving
These bites can be served in various ways, making them a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire. As an appetizer, they’ll impress your guests with their unique flavor and presentation.
As a side dish, they complement a wide range of main courses, from grilled chicken to roasted vegetables. You can even turn them into a satisfying main course by serving them with a fresh salad.
The Taste Test
The combination of earthy broccoli, sharp cheddar, and nutty quinoa creates a flavor profile that’s truly irresistible. These bites are guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters.
One of the standout features of Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites is their balance of flavors and textures. The broccoli adds a mild bitterness that contrasts beautifully with the rich, creamy cheddar cheese. Meanwhile, the quinoa provides a nutty undertone and a delightful crunch, making each bite a sensory delight.
The seasoning options are nearly endless, allowing you to tailor the flavor to your liking. Whether you prefer a hint of smokiness from paprika or a touch of warmth from garlic, these bites can be customized to suit your taste buds.
Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa BitesCourse: LunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Indulge in the perfect blend of health and flavor with our Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites recipe. These delectable bites feature the wholesome goodness of nutrient-rich broccoli, creamy cheddar cheese, and protein-packed quinoa, creating a snack that's both nutritious and irresistible.
With a crispy exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth center, these bites are a delightful addition to your snacking repertoire. Plus, they're vegetarian-friendly and incredibly versatile, making them suitable for various occasions.
1 tablespoon butter or cooking spray (for greasing)
2 cups quinoa (cooked, from 3/4 cup dry quinoa)
1 1/2 cups broccoli (chopped)
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a standard muffin tin with butter or cooking spray. If you have muffin liners, you can use these as well.
- In a large bowl, mix together the 2 cups of cooked quinoa, 1 ½ cups of chopped broccoli, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, ½ tsp of salt, and ½ tsp of pepper.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin wells and pack down so that each cup is full. This will help the quinoa bites bind and hold while baking.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring the bites to a wire rack or plate. Enjoy!
- Use a butter knife around the outside of each muffin to remove it easily from the pan.
Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites are a revelation in the world of snacks. They offer a delightful mix of nutrition and flavor, making them an excellent choice for health-conscious individuals and food enthusiasts alike. So, why settle for ordinary snacks when you can indulge in these extraordinary bites? Make them a part of your culinary journey today!
Read also: Spicy Mango Salmon Rice Bowl
Can I freeze Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites?
Yes, you can! After baking, allow them to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the freezer. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat them in the oven or microwave.
Are these bites suitable for vegetarians?
Absolutely! Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites are entirely vegetarian, making them a great option for those who follow a vegetarian diet.
How long do they stay fresh?
When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these bites can stay fresh for up to five days. You can also extend their shelf life by freezing them.
Can I customize the seasonings?
Certainly! Feel free to experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste. Some people enjoy adding a dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, while others prefer a more herbaceous flavor with fresh herbs like parsley or dill.
Are these bites kid-friendly?
Yes, they are. Kids tend to love the cheesy goodness of these bites, and they’re an excellent way to sneak some veggies into their diet. If your little ones are picky eaters, you can also finely chop the broccoli to make it less noticeable while still providing them with its nutritional benefits.