HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! I hope you rang in 2014 in delicious style. Ben cooked us an epic meal of surf and turf to pair with a bottle of champagne, then we celebrated quietly so as to not wake the baby. Do whatever you want in my house but DO NOT WAKE THE BABY!
Anyway, I am so excited for 2014. Like beyond, and I’m not even sure why. I just have a feeling it’s going to be a great year. I can’t wait to see Lincoln start crawling then walking, hearing him say Mama (which I repeat approximately 4,000 times a day) and see where life takes Ben and me in general.
I’m not a big new years resolution gal – they’re great in theory, but never seem to last. That being said, I do have some goals (actually, are they different?!) that I’d like to work towards, including eating 3 balanced meals a day. That and drinking more smoothies/juicing again. I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead a few nights ago and was so inspired!
Anyway, as a food blogger I’m usually cooking at odd times throughout the day, eating nibbles and nips of this and that along the way. Usually by the time dinner rolls around I’m not even that hungry.
I think it all starts with a good breakfast, which is where Crunchy Quinoa Granola comes in. I mean, think about it, what would you be more pumped to eat in the morning – a bowl of cereal, or a Crunchy Quinoa Granola Parfait, which pretty much takes the same amount of time to prepare?!
Crunchy Quinoa Granola is a healthy twist on the classic breakfast or snack recipe. Old fashioned oats, quinoa, flax seeds, sliced almonds, and raisins join a small amount of honey and coconut oil to create an audibly crunchy granola that will help you start any day off right.
This granola is AWESOME. By far the best I’ve ever made at home, and ridiculously easy to make. Get ready to raid the bulk bins at your grocery store to get the ingredients for this incredible granola, and kick 2014 off in delicious, healthy style!
Start with 2 cups gluten-free or regular old fashioned oats (not quick-cooking or instant oats,) and 1/2 cup rinsed uncooked quinoa. The quinoa is what gives this granola a punch of protein, fiber, and overall awesomeness, plus it gives the granola a fabulous, crispy-crunch. Since you’re rinsing the uncooked quinoa it will still be wet. Don’t worry, it’s fine!
Next add 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 2 Tablespoons flax seeds, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
Finally, add 1/4 cup honey and 2 Tablespoons coconut oil that’s been melted. If you don’t have coconut oil I’d use vegetable oil. I tried making this granola without the fat, just to see what would happen, and it ended up very dry and “dusty” tasting. The small amount of sugar and fat in this granola is WAY less than you’ll find in store-bought, yet it’s still absolutely delicious. Trust me, you won’t miss the extra calories a bit.
Mix everything together then spread on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring halfway through, or until the granola is light golden brown. Watch it closely at the end to make sure it’s not getting too dark brown, which will make the granola taste burnt.
Psst! The granola will not be crunchy right out of the oven – it’s crisps as it cools!
Once the granola is completely cool, stir in 1 cup raisins. Granola is pretty much the only place where raisins have any business being. Trail mix? Blech. Cookies? NEVER. Granola? Absolutely!
Store the granola in an airtight container or enjoy straight away. My favorite is sprinkling it over Greek yogurt and freshly sliced bananas. Pure breakfast bliss, baby!
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Crunchy Quinoa Granola
Crunchy Quinoa Granola is audibly crunchy, and lower in fat and sugar than store-bought granola!
- 2 cups gluten-free or regular old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 Tablespoons flax seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees then line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients except raisins in a large bowl then stir to combine. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet then bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until golden brown. TIP: watch closely at the end to make sure granola does not get too dark. Granola will not be crunchy right out of the oven. Stir in raisins when granola is cool then store in an airtight container.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
This recipe makes about 4 cups of granola and I can’t think of a better way to help your friends and family start the new year off right than by gifting them a mason jar of the stuff. You’ll have a ton, so share the love, and enjoy! Happy New Year, everyone!