Sunshine and Sea Salt » A Healthy Foodie Blog

Quinoa Cakes With a Coconut Sugar Cranberry Sauce


Quinoa was one of the first super foods we discovered after going gluten free. It’s pronounced Keen-Wah, which is pretty fun to say and…it’s pretty all around amazing. The Quinoa crop is a pseudo-cereal and is related to amaranth. Indigenous to South America, it is famous for;  high protein content, amino acids, easy digestibility, magnesium , calcium , iron and its entirely gluten free. I must admit, my kids weren’t too crazy about the grainy texture when  cooked and eaten in place of say, oatmeal or rice…so at first I had a little trouble getting them to eat it. But after playing around a bit, we discovered that quinoa prepared two ways could be pretty exciting with its limitless possibilities, and the little foodies wouldn’t have a single problem eating it at any time of day…or night. Trust me. Quinoa cakes, Quinoa granola…you really can’t go wrong.

I’ll have to do a post on the quinoa granola…mmm, with a little maple syrup, cinnamon and coconut oil…fresh fruit, sea salt and maybe some coconut or raw milk (or just grass fed) yogurt…you get the idea, but today, we’ll stick to the cakes. I think you’re gonna love ’em. This recipe is gluten free and almost dairy free. We used some pastured butter for frying and actually; we have two children that are sensitive to the casein protein in dairy products – so we usually omit them – but  pastured butter for frying and things like ghee {which has casein removed}, doesn’t seem to have a negative effect on them. Which makes me so happy, because lets face it…life without butter, real butter, is no life at all. {I’m a little opinionated, but if you can’t do butter for whatever reason -all is not lost- just use earth balance vegan butter, coconut butter, coconut oil or palm shortening. Of course, coconut oil will change the flavor, but if you don’t mind, neither do I. Also, this is super easy to make, so if you have children, it might be fun to include them. You will notice in the picture below, I did.:)Happy cooking!



For the quinoa cakes you will need:

  1. 2 cups dry quinoa; rinsed in a fine mesh strainer to remove any ‘saponins’ which is a bitter tasting coating and I hear it tastes like soap, but I wouldn’t know. I always rinse.
  2. 3.5 cups filtered water {we use reverse osmosis on our tap and we love it}
  3. 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour {we use a homemade almond flour/ coconut flour/ tapioca and potato starch + xanthan gum & sea salt mixture, but any gluten free mix will do.}
  4. 3 large pastured eggs. {We adore pastured eggs by Vital Farms…just in case you have access to them, you won’t be disappointed}
  5. 1/2 TB organic ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 TB fine sea salt
  7. about 4 TB coconut sugar.
  8. 1 cup pastured {from cows that were grass fed} butter or ghee
  9. 1 large cast iron skillet heated over medium high.

Add your rinsed quinoa to medium sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. Then, water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer and check in about 10-15 minutes. Once water is absorbed and quinoa looks all cute and puffy-it’s done. Turn off heat and place a dish towel or a couple paper towels in between lid and pot to absorb any steam and keep the quinoa from becoming all mushy and stuff. Allow to sit and be all absorby for about 5 min. Okay, stop. I owe this brilliant method to a certain Gwyneth Paltrow,  who wrote the book , “It’s All Good” If you don’t own the book, I highly recommend. And, no- I didn’t copy from her book, it is a method after all. and since we’re going to take this ‘perfectly cooked quinoa’ to a whole new level, I think she would be proud. Don’t you?

Okay, next. Place cooked quinoa in a large glass bowl. Add eggs, flour, sea salt, cinnamon and coconut sugar. mix well with a wooden spoon until it starts to stick together. Take an ice-cream scooper, scoop out a little ball and form a nice little circle or biscuit shape with your hands. set aside and repeat until all the quinoa is used up.

Heat your cast iron over medium high. Add butter and allow to melt into a gorgeous, fatty, frying oil. Once it starts sizzling a bit, start adding your quinoa cakes. Fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove with a spatula and rest on a plate until ready to serve.

For the Cranberry Sauce you will need:

  1. 10 oz package of frozen organic cranberries (or fresh will do)
  2. 1 cup of filtered water
  3. 1 cup of coconut sugar
  4. and about 1 tsp or maybe 2 of ground cinnamon

Bring mixture to a boil and start whisking. Reduce until thickened. The cranberries will all burst and kind of become one with the liquid. Once this process takes place {it should look like a sort of jelly… and don’t leave the pot, please, it could burn and that will make us all cry. } okay, where was I? right. once it looks like jelly. turn off heat and transfer to a blender. { we love Vitamix but any blender will do } puree. carefully. into a smooth sweet and saucy syrup.

To plate: Arrange quinoa cakes and drizzle cranberry sauce over with a spoon. It should look something like this…


I hope you like it as much as we do. And I hope you get creative with it too. Spices, sauces…oh, the pretty possibilities…

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  • Christine Wood

    Oh Mary, these look fantastic! I love reading your extra tips and stories. What a great recipe and your blog is beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Christine! Your sweet words of encouragement mean so much to me! xoReplyCancel

  • Carmella Bull

    Yummy! Thank you for this recipe Mary. It was a delight to read it!! And I can’t wait to try it. ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Jeannette

    These sound and look great. I might just gave to make if one day. Love your blog!ReplyCancel

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