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"The Best I Ever Made"

“The Best I Ever Made”

Are you seeing Quinoa everywhere you look in recipes?  I have found I really like it in lots of dishes served hot or cold.  This recipe excites me because by adding quinoa and lots of nuts you increase the protein in the granola.  I love eating this granola on cereal, especially ones that are mostly carbs and no protein and my favorite way in on yogurt or ricotta cheese with fresh berries.  It also makes a great gift packaged in glass jars. It is so much better than the stuff you buy in the stores, most of those have more sugar than a candy bar, and of course no preservatives in this recipe.  You will never buy granola again and making your own is so much cheaper and it is extremely easy to make and you control the ingredients.  You can use this recipe as a starting place for your own special blend of granola filled with things your family will love. Use any kind of nuts, peanuts or seeds and then after cooling add any kind of dried fruit.  The choice is yours.  And by adding the quinoa you really have a nutritious granola.  

Quinoa is an ancient grain and 2013 was recognized as “The International Year of Quinoa”.  Most quinoa  consumed in the US comes from South America and there are  various colors with tri-color is also available.   The protein in quinoa is a complete protein source including all the essential amino acids.  It is also gluten-free.

It is typically consumed in the same way as the cereal grasses like wheat, oats, barley and rye, however, quinoa in not a cereal grass at all but in the same food family of spinach, swiss chard and beets.  Who Knew???  It is considered a “Pseudo-cereal”.

If stored in a tight container in the refrigerator it will last 3 to 6 months.  

I hope you will bake up a batch of this “can’t stop eating it” granola for your family and some to share with your friends.  A side benefit is the aroma that will fill your house. Bet it will not last long!!!   It is “The Best I Ever Made”

Please leave a comment, I would love to know how you made yours “Your Own”.

Items for Granola  -  A Starting Place  -  Be creative and add your own favorite indigents.

Items for Granola – A Starting Place – Be creative and add your own favorite indigents.

All Dry Ingredients - Ready to be mixed.

All Dry Ingredients – Ready to be mixed.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Tidbit Tip:  Use this "plopper"  measuring gadget to measure honey and maple syrup.  Just push the bottom to "plop" honey into bow.

Tidbit Tip: Use this “plopper”measuring gadget to measure honey and maple syrup. Just push the bottom to “plop” honey into bowl.

Brown Sugar  -  I use Splenda Brown Sugar Blend.  Living with a diabetic makes me aware of sugar.

Brown Sugar – I use Splenda Brown Sugar Blend. Living with a diabetic makes me aware of sugar.

Coconut Oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla and brown sugar.  Heat till all melted and mixed.

Coconut Oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla and brown sugar. Heat till all melted and mixed.

Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix well.

Liquid stirred into dry ingredients.

Liquid stirred into dry ingredients.

Pour onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out evenly.

Pour onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out evenly.

Baked and toasted Granola  - leave on cookie sheet to cool before adding dried cranberries.

Right out of oven baked and toasted Granola – leave on cookie sheet to cool before adding dried cranberries or dried fruit of your choice.

"The Best I Ever Made"

One of my favorite ways to enjoy  – over yogurt.                        “The Best I Ever Made”

Coconut Quinoa Granola with Nuts
Yields 6
Nutritious and Delicious Packed with Protein Granola
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups old fashioned oats (use gluten free oats for a gluten free granola)
  2. 1 cup uncooked Quinoa (can leave it out, but increase oats by 1/2 cup)
  3. 1 cup slivered almonds (use one kind or any combination of nuts you like to equal 2 cups)
  4. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  5. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  6. 1/4 cup flax seeds
  7. 1/4 cup dry roasted sunflower kernels (I used Planters) optional
  8. 1 cup shredded coconut (sweet or unsweetened)
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom (optional but adds a really nice flavor)
  12. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  13. 1/4 cup honey
  14. 1/4 cup maple syrup (note you can use 1/2 cup honey and no syrup)
  15. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  16. 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used Splenda Blend Brown Sugar)
  17. 1 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice; blueberries, cherries, pineapple etc).
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl combine oats, quinoa, all nuts, coconut, flaxseed, sunflower kernels, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. In small saucepan heat till melted coconut oil, honey, syrup, vanilla and brown sugar.
  5. Pour over dry ingredients and stir well, mixing to combine.
  6. Pour onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out evenly.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes and watching carefully during the last 5 minutes to make sure it doesn't get too brown.
  8. Let cool and add dried cranberries or dried fruit of your choice.
  9. Enjoy over yogurt, ricotta cheese, milk or by itself.
Notes
  1. Use any combo of nuts or all of one kind. "Make It Your Own and The Best You Ever Made"
  2. This is so good and nutritious with the quinoa being a complete protein source containing all essential amino acids. Your family will never know something so delicious is so good for them.
  3. If you want the granola sweeter after baking you can sprinkle some sweetener on while hot and of course I use Splenda because of my diabetic husband.
Tidbits of Joy http://tidbitsofjoy.com/
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