This Ain’t Your Granny’s Granola

Hang on to your hats ladies and gents, I’ve found the best way to save cash AND keep slim and trim: make your own granola. My mom and I blitzed through 6 recipes over the weekend and this was one of them. Since I was over at her place, I was at the mercy of her cookbooks. This one is adapted from a great new quinoa-centred cookbook by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood. We were so consumed with our cooking frenzy that we forgot to turn on any music – not that we would have heard it over the food processor, yakking and stirring – so you’ll have to use your imagination in terms of what you should listen to as you throw this quick recipe together.

As my mom would say: "it's a giant bowl of health!" even though it really is a teeny tiny bowl... of health.

You’ll feel healthier the minute you see the ingredient list:

  • 2.5 cups large-flake rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup whole raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, uncooked but well-rinsed until no longer sudsy
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (and optional if you’re not nutty about nuts)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (or, you can combine agave, brown rice syrup and/or honey since maple syrup can be pricey; see my post on honey for all of you surprised to see it on the list)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped into little bits

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F. Measure the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, quinoa, coconut and walnuts/pecans into a large bowl. Mix well and set aside. Combine the maple syrup and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add the syrup mixture to the oat mixture and stir until well mixed. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly on top and stir it in. Spread the soon-to-be granola evenly on a large baking sheet and bake for 1 hour (jiggle it every once in a while). When it’s ready, take it out of the oven (remember to turn the oven off!) and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while. It’ll crispify as it cools so don’t worry if it comes out of the oven after an hour and looks a little soggy. Toss in the dried fruits, give it a stir and then serve with your favorite soygurt for breakfast, a quick snack or dessert. You can store your newfound granola in a sealed container for up to 4 weeks, but I doubt it’ll last that long.

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