…how’s that for a mouthful? 😉 As the freezing weather continues (this isn’t just some snow and the start of winter, this is like full-on -20 C -30 C with the wind chill kind of temperatures!), I thought that something homemade and warm would hit the spot, and since I haven’t made or bought granola in quite some time, I decided to create a typical granola serving infused with one of my favorite grains, quinoa.
Have you tried it before? Quinoa, pronounced “keen wah,” is an everyday super food, meaning that it contains the perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids. Not only is it gluten-free and a stellar source of protein, but it acts as the pasta/rice/grain substitute for pretty much any meal! (source) Eat it instead of oats as your breakfast, eat it with an Asian stir fry instead of white rice, eat it with steamed veggies and a tomato sauce. For a great list of reasons to enjoy quinoa and add it as a staple to your diet and to see it’s full nutritional profile, click here.
Here’s what I used to make my protein-packed, seasonal granola, but remember to add toppings that you love and experiment with baking different items into your granola batches!
- 1.5 cups quinoa (rinsed if needed – check the packaging)
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- 1 mashed banana (I used the banana to act like butter or oil)
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 1 handful of sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup of dates, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries + sunflower seeds + mini chocolate chips
Pour everything into a mixing bowl and stir together (if you’re like mel most would combine the wet and dry ingredients separately and then add together; I’m a mixer through and through). 😉
Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet and slide into the oven for ~30 minutes.
Don’t wander too far:
When the granola is done baking, pull it out of the oven and allow to cool.
Store the quinoa granola in an airtight container and it should keep for several weeks.
Just be careful that your nutritious snack doesn’t get in the way of your relationships…
In fact, it might just be better to keep the whole thing to yourself and claim it’s simply for the health of your marriage. 😉
Actually, this would make a fun gift! And again, remember that you can add whatever you want to the mix! Some fun mix-in’s might include:
- toasted coconut flakes
- almond butter (or any kind of nut butter)
- pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup of pureed pumpkin
- dried apricots
- chopped walnuts
…the list is endless! 🙂 Enjoy mixing your protein-packed, nutritious quinoa granola in with your yogurt as a snack or for breakfast with milk and fresh fruit. Remember to enjoy snacks/meals like this in moderation as you stick on track with your goals that will help you become a better YOU by Jan. 1st! Keep checking in for more workouts in the week ahead! Have a great snowy, sunny, windy, rainy, beautiful night wherever you are and continue to live well and be well as you live with intention,