You’ll notice this is two posts in a row with quinoa – I wanted to finish the bag. AND it’s really good for you. The thing is, I don’t love the taste of quinoa. Sometimes flavors can be camouflaged in the name of health – like this granola! Let me explain.I find quinoa to have a bitterness that I don’t love. Though often categorized as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed (there’s some trivia for you). This seed has a natural coating called saponin that makes it taste yucky to birds and insects. Most of the quinoa we buy now has been thoroughly rinsed but I give it a little shower just to be safe. Anyways – it’s good for you whether you eat it raw or cooked, and I found that in this granola, that bitterness was much less pronounced. Also unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that quinoa (along with the soy bean) is a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids. This is typically only the case for animal proteins, which makes quinoa a bit of a star for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Coconut is currently my daughter’s favorite word. If I ask her what her friend’s name is she says, “Coconut Avery” and then laughs. Sometimes she will ask me in the car if I’d like to say funny words back and forth with her. She always leads with “coconut”. Every time I look at the title of this granola I giggle. Again, I diverge. Ok – this granola is SUPER HEALTHY as you can tell by reading over the ingredients. Natural sweetness from the maple syrup and no fat to be found (except from the healthy flax seed), this is great high protein breakfast snack. I’m still avoiding dairy (like the plaque, actually, because the little man is NOT happy when I slip up) and my breakfast of eggs is getting old. This granola with almond milk and berries is a high protein alternative that tastes good and I can feel really great about.
Coconut Quinoa Granola
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
1 c. quinoa
1 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut
1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray lightly with nonstick spray.
2. Combine quinoa, oats, coconut, flaxseed, cinnamon, and allspice in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together the applesauce, egg whites and maple syrup until smoothly combined.
3. Add wets to dries and mix until evenly combined. Spread across the surface of the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
4. Bake for about 1 hour, stirring once or twice. Remove from oven and let cool without touching at least 30 minutes (until completely cooled). Break into clumps and store in a mostly airtight container, up to 1 week.