Sunday, April 21, 2013

Coconut, Oat, and Quinoa Granola

There are infinite combinations for delicious homemade granola. I'm constantly mixing up the fruits and nuts that I throw in to my granola, but the one element I do neglect to change up enough is the grains. Granted, granola is pretty much defined by rolled oats, but there's certainly room for adding other grains, especially protein-rich quinoa, which adds a lovely nutritious crunch. Millet would also be a welcome addition, but it doesn't come with quite the nutritional bonus of quinoa. The remaining ingredients are a particularly delightful melange of nuts, seeds, coconut, and dried fruit that become wonderfully crunchy and subtly sweet when slowly baked in a light glaze. I typically eat granola for breakfast, but this also makes a wonderful topping for frozen yogurt or ice cream and is special enough to give as a gift. So much of my eating follows the seasons, but granola always has a place in my diet, from spring to winter, breakfast to dessert.

Coconut, Oat, and Quinoa Granola
adapted from Aida Mollenkamp
makes about 3 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or brown rice or agave syrup
1.5 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.5 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
1/2 cup packed unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cup uncooked quinoa, flaxseed, or hemp seed
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup raisins, currants, or dried cranberries

1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine butter or coconut oil, honey, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour mixture into a bowl, add the oats and nuts and toss until evenly coated.

2. Spread the oat mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir in the coconut, quinoa or seeds, and pumpkin seeds, and spread out into a thin layer. Continue baking until the granola is very golden brown and smells toasted, about 10 to 15 minutes more. (Note : Granola should be golden and slightly crisp -- remember that it will crisp even more as it cools. Keep an eye on the granola at this point because, depending on the thickness of your baking sheet, it will cook faster or slower than mine did.)

3. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola to room temperature, at least 15 minutes.
When the granola is cool, add the dried fruit and toss to combine.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laine, today I'm collecting recipes using vanilla and/or saffron. Please drop me a line on if you are ok with me linking to your post on Carole's Chatter. Cheers