There was a lot of cereal around my house when I was a kid. I have fond memories of waking up to a bowl of Special K covered in sugar and bananas. But when I was allowed to pick the cereal, my choice was always the same – granola! Now I know that probably puts me directly into the weird category (if the salad for breakfast thing hadn’t already done it!), but it is true. Even as a little girl, I wasn’t craving Frosted Flakes or Captain Crunch in the morning…I wanted granola.
Of course, it wasn’t the low fat versions that I craved. (And there certainly wasn’t any quinoa to be found!) I’ve tried to like store bought low fat granola….really. To this day they just don’t taste right to me.
So, when a reader asked if I could come up with a quinoa granola recipe that tasted great but was low in oil, I was honestly a little hesitant to commit. Memories of trying to stomach low fat granola surfaced and I was already contemplating making just a half recipe so I didn’t get stuck eating a full batch of cardboard.
Fortunately, I got brave and gave it a try. Yesterday I had a whirl wind cooking day, completing four different quinoa recipes. Five if you count the sauce I made. Surprising, this quinoa granola was so delicious, I found myself reaching for it throughout the day. I love the little clusters, which helped make it ideal for snacking! This is also one of the best quinoa breakfast recipes for those of you who are short on time in the morning!
The boys gave their thumbs up too and enjoyed it as is as well as as a crunchy topping for yogurt! SCORE!
Note: For those of you trying to eliminate oil completely from their diets, you can skip toasting the quinoa in step two. The texture of the quinoa won’t be quite as crunchy, but it still works.
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed and allowed to dry slightly
- 1 cup almonds chopped
- 2 T Chia Seeds
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Pure Himalayan Salt
- 1/2 cup Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
- 1 T Organic Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries or cherries
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add quinoa and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl immediately. Add oats, almonds, and chia seeds to the bowl. Stir in cinnamon and sea salt.
- In a saucepan combine coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, applesauce and water. Bring to simmer over medium and cook until sugar is melted. Stir in vanilla. The liquid mixture may seem too thin to you. Don’t worry about it – it will absorb into the quinoa mixture.
- Pour mixture over quinoa oat mixture and stir until well mixed. Place mixture in a single layer a cookie sheet and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring and rotating positions of pan in the oven half way through. Watch it closely for the last 10 minutes – you don’t want it to get to brown but if you don’t allow it to cook long enough it will be slightly moist. Allow to cool completely before stirring.
- Remove from pan and place in a large bowl. Toss with cranberries and serve or store in a sealed container.