Sunday, May 5, 2013

Coconut-Quinoa Olive Oil Granola with Dried Mangoes

Yogurt and granola is my breakfast of champions. Although it's a pretty healthy combination of whole grains, nuts, and dried fruit, it somehow feels like I'm eating something vaguely dessert-like for breakfast. I'm definitely not saying that yogurt and granola is going to replace an ice cream sundae, but it's certainly nice to start the day with a treat. That being said, I'm still always trying to sneak in a little extra nutrition. With my last batch of granola I added quinoa for extra protein and this time I used extra-virgin olive oil for even more healthy fats. The olive oil flavor isn't prominent in the granola, taking a back seat to the sweeter elements of maple syrup, dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Coconut, cashews, and dried mangoes gives this granola a somewhat tropical feel, making it a particularly wonderful choice for a spring or summer breakfast. If you're not a breakfast person (something I personally can't understand), this granola also makes a superb topping for ice cream, a mere scoop turning a plain bowl of ice cream into a complex and nuanced dessert.

Coconut-Quinoa Olive Oil Granola with Dried Mangoes
makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw cashews
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped dried mangoes
Coarse salt

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Place oats, quinoa, coconut, cashews, maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined and set aside. 

3. In a small saucepan combine maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon and heat over low heat just until sugar is melted and ingredients are well combined. Pour hot mixture over oats mixture and stir to coat thoroughly.

4. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10-15 minutes at the beginning and more frequently towards the end, until granola is toasted, about 45 minutes.

5. Remove granola from oven and season with more salt to taste. Let cool completely and stir in dried mangoes. Serve at room temperature or store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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