Double Ginger Quinoa Scones

Seems we all focus on the “main event” meals during the holidays, poring over cookbooks or stressing about which dressing would be best with the tofurkey (okay, I know many of you don’t eat tofurkey–but it’s such a fun word to say, isn’t it?). But what about the meals after the big meals?  What about breakfast or brunch?

Years ago, I jumped at the chance to go on a date with a guy from England–his name even sounded dashing (something like “Darcy Bedford”).

Well, it was clear from the start that Mister Bedford perceived me to be a Cretin for my want of proper etiquette or decorum (and the fact that I lacked a decent stereo, as he judged it).  After all, back in the Queen’s homeland, everyone grows up saying “pleased to meet you,” and “by your leave,” and “cheerio”; they don’t speak with their mouths full; and they are all very proper in every circumstance, you understand.

In this particular case, my twenty-something self was overwhelmed (I didn’t realize I should have been insulted): first, that the guy even asked me out (not only was he British, but an actor; not only an actor, but a working actor; and, most important to me at the time, he was terribly good looking–what the heck did he want with me?); second, that we went to a very posh restaurant; and third, that the table was set with a plethora of silverware.

Like an erstwhile Pretty Woman (though I, of course, wasn’t as pretty, or as tall, and I had much less hair. . . oh–and, right, I wasn’t a hooker), I had no idea which fork to use, nor which knife to grip.  I followed Mr. Brittania’s lead and the meal worked out fine. The remainder of the evening, sadly, wasn’t nearly as successful, what with the bloke leaving my place in a huff almost immediately upon arrival, clearly miffed that I was not, as it turned out, a real-life counterpart to the celluloid pretty woman.

Whenever I think of British society these days, I think of High Tea and the elaborate spreads of cucumber sandwiches, bread with the crust cut off, watercress, and miniature scones with clotted cream.  Clotted cream!  I’ve never had the stuff, but anything rich and creamy evokes the notion of gustatory satisfaction.  But it’s the scones, of course, that take the spotlight.

My mother used to buy prepacked sweets that were labeled “Tea Biscuits” when I was a kid.  Inside were hydrogenated shortening-heavy biscuits studded with brown raisins.  I loved their heaviness and density and the occasional sweet surprise when I bit into a sultana.  To me, those were “scones” until my late twenties, until my office mate at work baked up true scones, with butter and cream–and I was converted on the spot.

These days, there’s no butter and no cream, but I still love the morning sweet breads and try to bake them as often as I can.  Since the ACD doesn’t advocate too many grains (even if they are gluten-free), I’ve made these grain free (since quinoa isn’t truly a grain). After several trials, I came up with a recipe that is at once light, tender, and flavorful.  The fresh ginger adds a little kick while its dried counterpart confers a warming spice; together, the flavor mitigates the sometimes potent quinoa.  And quinoa makes them high protein, too–perfect for a balanced breakfast.

These are great for anyone who wants a satisfying breakfast bread without piling on too many carbs.  Jolly good!

[A scone slathered with sunflower seed butter.]

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  1. Ricki – I loved your post. Both for the humor (sorely needed today) and the recipe itself. I am going to try them with chia seeds instead of flax since I have somehow managed to become somewhat allergic to flax seeds (gahhhhhh). Oh and my beloved chickpeas too (irrelevant here, except I needed to mention the absurdity!). Eventually I plan to reintroduce both, but for now I am learning how to bake with chia instead of flax 🙂

    • Argh! How frustrating that must be! I use 1 tsp ground chia in place of every tbsp of ground flax, and it seems to work. Chia will produce a baked good that is moister and perhaps a bit denser. . . you might want to play with liquid amounts, too. And bummer on the chickpeas!! I sometimes think that, when I begin to rely too much on one ingredient, I’d better cut back or risk developing a sensitivity, too. At least there are lots of other great legumes. . . 🙂

      • Thanks for the tips Ricki. Good to know regarding chia’s properties in baked goods. I always so appreciate your good advice.

        And yes, I am thinking it is time to stock up on white beans and break out my azuki and black bean stash again. I am also going to stay away from chana dal for a while (since it is, essentially, a split chickpea) so white beans are probably my best bet for hummus.

  2. PS – the humor was needed for reasons other than the lack of flax and chickpeas in my life. I might be dramatic, but I do have (some) perspective 😛

  3. These look SO good Ricki!! Thank you so much for such a great recipe!! 🙂 Scones are just the perfect breakfast food aren’t they!

  4. Appreciate your work and excited to try this recipe! Where do you find quinoa flakes?

    • I get mine in the health food store. If you have Trader Joe’s, they’d have it, too. You could substitute millet flakes or oats if you’re able to eat them. 🙂

  5. Scones! Must try these. Perhaps to be eaten with oat yogurt… What’s the purpose of the coconut flour, i.e. is there a substitute you’d recommend? Haven’t seen coconut flour anywhere and it crops up in recipes surprisingly often.

    • The coconut flour is a high-protein, high-fiber, grain-free flour that I like to use because it also absorbs a lot of moisture (so you don’t need very much). I can’t think of a substitute that would act the same way in the recipe, but if you reduced the milk you could try using something like almond flour instead. I find it adds substance without tasting like coconut. . . I like it when I’m trying to avoid grains. 🙂

  6. funny to read your post about the brits – because E and I were just discussing watching the royal wedding next year – I think he is turning into a true blue ex-pat! I agree that scones seem very british – love them and would no doubt love yours if I had all those ingredients (or an ACD to feed) – they look lovely with the sun butter on them

  7. Inventive as always, Ricki. These looks phenomenal!

  8. Thanks for the suggestion of oats or millet flakes. Believe it or not, I developed an allergy to quinoa two years ago after eating if for many years. So I have to substitute things for it in recipes. I can have it in very small amounts in a bread but that is about it. Thanks for a great site!

  9. Oh, cool! I just clicked through on GLG’s roundup, thinking, well, grain free scones, but I bet they have eggs. And then I ended up here! Happy days, and happy holidays, Ricki.

  10. You had me at “grain free” Ricki, but then to throw in words like “sugar free” and “biscuits” and “scones” too?!? I can’t wait to make these and slather them with apple butter 🙂


  11. I just ground some buckwheat the other night–must be fate 🙂

  12. Er…I’m rather allergic to stevia. And I’ve noted quite a few of your recipes call for said ingredient. Is there an alternative? I don’t mind baked goods not being that sweet. In fact, I rather prefer them to be less sweet.

  13. Ohmigosh!! I made these today and they’re just amazing! As someone who has several food intolerances, these are delicious without containing any wheat, soy or dairy products 🙂

  14. What can you use instead of the quinoa flakes? They are still processed, and I would rather something more paleo. Thanks!


  1. […] So, i’m going to test this out. I recently tried out a recipe from Diet, desserts and Dogs, but I added my own twist to it as I didn’t have all the ingredients. It’s gluten free, sugar free, soy free, egg free, and vegan. What’s also so amazing is that they rise despite the fact that they contain no gluten. Woot! The original recipe can be found here […]

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