Crunchy Quinoa Granola

Recipe for quinoa granola with cherry and pumpkin seeds

When I was a little girl, my all time favorite breakfast was a big heaping bowl of granola doused in milk.  I couldn’t get enough of those giant clusters of crunchy sweetness as they gave me the burst of energy I needed to carry me through my day.

While that love affair continued into adulthood, granola has since become a food reserved for special occasions given the high fat content and my ever slowing metabolism.  That is up until recently when a simple observation rewrote my relationship with granola.

Specifically, I started to notice that the Mr. frantically rushed for granola on every single trip to the grocery store.

 “Hey that’s not on the shopping list.   Is he going to run 10 miles every time he eats that?”  I thought to myself.

Recipe for quinoa granola with cherries and pumpkin seeds

You see, I realized that he was regularly snacking on yogurt topped with a hearty spoonful of granola.  Now mind you, I’m not going to criticize him for this as there are far worse things he could be noshing on, but I concluded I had better come up with a healthier alternative or the Mr. soon enough would be accusing ME of shrinking all his clothes.  I’ve been doing laundry . . .ahem. . .let’s just say for a long time, so those pants are not tight from a washing faux pas, dear.

Quinoa granola recipe

So in the pursuit of keeping the hubby from getting chubby, I turned to my tried and true Clean Eating Magazine.  By now you have probably figured out that I am a Clean Eating Magazine junkie.   When I am doing my weekly meal planning, it is the first thing I grab.  Lucky for me, granola has been featured in this magazine on numerous occasions, so I had the pick of the liter.  I came across a version made with quinoa (see the original recipe HERE).  Perfect!   You all know I have an addiction (seems I have a lot of addictions judging by this paragraph) to ancient grains (read more about that HERE) so you can imagine how much this recipe was making my heart go pitter patter.

Recipe for quinoa granola with cherries and pumpkin seeds

So I started with the Clean Eating recipe as my base and personalized it with nutmeg, vanilla, honey, dried cherries and pumpkin seeds.  You can add in whatever spices, dried fruits and nuts you are craving at the moment.  I’m thinking I might try whipping up a banana bread flavor next time.  What are your favorite ingredients for granola?

This granola is crunchier than the traditional store bought granolas.  I love this about it.  As a matter of fact, I love it so much that I was worried that I would devour every last bit of it before I could finish taking the photographs for this post.  Ooops!

Crunchy Quinoa Granola

  • Time: 70 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsalted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey, melted
  • 1 egg white
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine uncooked quinoa, oat, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, coconut, chia seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. Stir in applesauce, vanilla, and honey.
  5. Beat egg white in a small bowl until foamy and then add to quinoa mixture.
  6. Spread quinoa in an even layer onto baking sheet.
  7. Mist the top of the granola with cooking spray.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  9. Granola should be golden and slightly crunchy.
  10. Granola will become even crunchier as it cools.
  11. Store in an air tight container.

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

Recipe for quinoa granola with cherries and pumpkin seeds

Here’s to childhood favorites.

XOXO-

Lynn

26 thoughts on “Crunchy Quinoa Granola

  • January 23, 2015 at 5:02 pm
    Permalink

    What a unique idea for granola! My husband Jason would goes crazy for this recipe, I can already tell. Also, stunning photography. xo

    Reply
    • January 23, 2015 at 5:50 pm
      Permalink

      This addiction to granola must be a man thing. :-) Asante sana for the photography compliments. I’m taking classes and working really hard on getting better (this indoor, food photography thing is new for me. . .I’m better at wildlife photography). Hopefully you will continue to see improvements as I go. Your photography is amazing.

      Reply
  • January 23, 2015 at 6:28 pm
    Permalink

    Granola is amazing it is one of my favorite breakfast treats. Beautiful pictures!

    Reply
    • January 23, 2015 at 6:50 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you Annie. If you love granola, then this one will certainly dazzle you. It is wicked crunchy.

      Reply
  • January 23, 2015 at 6:47 pm
    Permalink

    I can’t get enough quinoa these days and this looks absolutely perfect! I love granola, too – so this will make for a happy shift! Thank you!

    Reply
    • January 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm
      Permalink

      I hear you on the quinoa addiction Annie. I guess there are worse things we could be addicted to.

      Reply
  • January 23, 2015 at 8:46 pm
    Permalink

    This is a wonderful idea! I’ve been into quinoa lately and looking for ways to sneak it into my recipes. I hadn’t thought of putting it in granola. Add the chia seeds and this is a great and healthy meal

    Reply
  • January 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm
    Permalink

    So happy to see a quinoa granola recipe :) Love it! Pinning and will try it :)

    Reply
    • January 26, 2015 at 12:06 pm
      Permalink

      I’m always looking for new uses for quinoa. I snuck it in to some stuffed cabbage last night.

      Reply
  • January 26, 2015 at 4:22 am
    Permalink

    Quinoa! That’s a nice idea. I have difficulties making my granola really crunchy (and crunchy granola is best, obviously). Maybe I should just keep it longer in the oven.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2015 at 8:47 am
    Permalink

    Quinoa granola? Why have I never thought of that before. I can eat so much granola it is crazy. It’s one of those foods that I just don’t have any control around.

    Reply
    • January 26, 2015 at 12:05 pm
      Permalink

      It is phenomenal Jen. I highly recommend that you give it a try but be forewarned it is highly addicting.

      Reply
  • January 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm
    Permalink

    I love granola with quinoa. I’ve been eating it over yogurt almost everyday…I’m making your recipe next! Looks soooo good! :)

    Reply
  • January 29, 2015 at 9:40 am
    Permalink

    You actually fix my problem, Lynn. I, too, love granola, but seeing sugar content on the label, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it as often as I would want. But now I can, with your recipe. Yay!!!!! :)

    This is wonderful, Lynn. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • January 30, 2015 at 12:10 pm
      Permalink

      I know. . .it’s always good to find simple ways to sneak sugar out of recipes. Glad I could help feed your granola addiction. :-)

      Reply
  • February 6, 2015 at 2:00 am
    Permalink

    I’ve always wanted to try self made granola – thanks for this amazing recipe!! <3

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 9:23 am
      Permalink

      You should definitely give it a try Ju. It is so easy to make and is so addicting. I made a banana bread version last week and this week I bought some dried blueberries and will be making a blueberry and walnut version.

      Reply

Tell me what you think