Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quinoa Granola

I love granola.  I do.  Over the years I have learned that I actually prefer it with unsweetened SoDelicious coconut milk.  Cow milk leaves an unpleasant aftertaste and film in my mouth, and on mornings when I'm in a hurry and run out the door before brushing my teeth it haunts me for far to long! Ew.  Coconut milk not only tastes wonderful, there is no lingering aftertaste to bother me. Win!

I digress.  I love granola, and I miss it terribly.  Since taking gluten out of our diet, I have also removed granola.  I have yet to find a worthwhile gluten free and nut free granola on the market.  For some reason, they are so full of puffed rice and fluffies that the hearty oomph found in a traditional bowl of granola is sadly absent.

My oldest has been missing granola for longer, as she developed an oat allergy a few years ago. Blerg.

One evening it occurred to me: I use quinoa flakes anywhere a recipe calls for oatmeal, why not make my own granola from that?!  A quick trip to google (what did we allergy mamas do before google and food bloggers?) revealed that I am not alone in my inspiration.

I found this recipe, and have been enjoying lovely bowls of granola with coconut milk with a happy smile since.  I invite you to try it as well, tweaking it to meet the needs of the allergies in your family.

Quinoa Granola

2 c quinoa flakes
1/2 c chopped pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/4 c flaxseed meal or chia meal
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c pure maple syrup or honey
3 Tbsp oil of choice (I use safflower or grapeseed)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325.  Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa flakes, seeds, flax and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl whisk together maple syrup, oil, and vanilla until well blended.  Add the maple mixture to the quinoa mixture and stir until well coated.  Spread mixture in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 22-27 minutes or until quinoa flakes are golden brown.  Let cool completely on pan.  Break up granola and transfer to an airtight container.  You can stir in the dried fruit now, or just sprinkle a handful on your bowl of granola before eating.

Optional Stir Ins:
Before baking: whole flax or chia seeds, whole quinoa, whole teff grains, shredded coconut, carob or cocoa powder, vanilla powder... Use your imagination!
After baking: chocolate chips, butterscotch or vanilla chips, dried fruit of any kind, bananas, shredded coconut, the possibilities are limitless!

Now, go enjoy your granola.  I know we did.

This recipe is free of dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, nuts, oats, rice and many more!  It is free of the top 8, vegan, and pretty darn healthy to boot.