Friday, May 16, 2014

Maple Almond Quinoa Granola

I love granola for breakfast, but I must admit that I don't eat it very often.  Most of the packaged varieties that you find in stores are loaded with fat and sugar. I wanted a granola that I wouldn't feel bad about eating in the morning, one that is higher in protein but low in sugar and fat, so I took my classic Maple Almond Granola, and gave it a make over.  

This new maple almond granola is made with Quinoa. Quinoa (keen-wa) is really more of a seed than a true grain that it closely related to spinach and beets.  It's been a staple in the diet of the people of Bolivia, Peru and Columbia for over 3000 years.  They called it the "Mother Grain".  What makes quinoa unique is that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.  A half cup of raw quinoa has 12 grams of protein, a half cup of rolled oats has 3 grams.  Quinoa is also gluten free.

I replaced the oats in my original recipe with quinoa flakes and the flax with whole, uncooked quinoa.  This is what they look like side by side.

I also used coconut oil instead of sunflower oil, a much healthier alternative.

You can easily make a number of variations to this recipe, by making substitutions to the sweetener and the nuts.  I'm thinking about honey hazelnut granola or agave pumpkin seed.  You can also add a number of dried fruits as well, I usually add raisins.  I would suggest that you add the dried fruit after the granola has cooked, otherwise it has a tendency to get hard.

Maple Almond Quinoa Granola
Use organic ingredients whenever possible

1 12 oz box of quinoa flakes
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 250˚
In a large bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.
In another bowl or measuring cup, mix together the liquids.
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients.
Stir until everything is dampened by the liquids, but don't break up all the clumps.
Spread the granola out on a cookie sheet or broiler pan.
Bake for 30 minutes and then stir it around being careful not to break up the clumps.
Bake for 30 minutes more, stir again and turn the oven down to 225˚
Bake for another hour stirring again after 30 minutes.
Allow the granola to cool for 30 minutes before putting it in an air tight container.

My other quinoa recipes:

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