Finding a good, delectable, fail-safe granola recipe took time! I’ve made dry and mealy granola and “healthy” batches that taste like cardboard. I’ve made batches with caramel-y sugar and egg whites that produced granola clusters larger than gold balls — but difficult to break apart. There’s nothing like sitting down to a bowl of granola that’s similar to eating an uncooked pile of rolled oats. And then there’s burnt granola. Don’t even get me started on that.
The granola saga is a long one. Perhaps when food bloggers and cook book writers claim their granola recipe “IS THE BEST” what they really mean is that it’s the best for them. Call me crazy but perhaps granola is a deeply personal thing?
When I came across Gina Homolka’s granola recipe it intrigued me and I wanted to make it my own. It’s oh-so-flavorful, refined-sugar free but just sweet enough. It’s the best granola for me. Try it yourself and see if you like it. Here’s the adaptation.
1/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup rolled oats [GF if needed]
1/4 unsweetened coconut [shredded or flaked]
1/4 ground flax seeds [flax meal]
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey [or 1/8 honey 1/8 maple syrup, or all maple syrup]
1 tablespoon coconut oil [cold pressed if you can find it]
1 tablespoon chia seeds [optional]
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ginger
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer and pat dry with a paper towel. Spread quinoa and oats on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.
In a bowl combine nuts, dried fruit, chia seeds, flax meal, spices and pinch of salt. Mix in the oatmeal and quinoa.
In a separate bowl combine coconut oil, honey [and/or maple syrup], vanilla, and apple sauce. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread granola out on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Stir the granola and bake for another 12 minutes. With 5 minutes of the final bake time remaining, stir in the coconut, and continue to bake. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, store in an airtight glass jar. I like to keep mine in the fridge. You could also freeze batches!
NOTE: If you prefer a dryer granola omit the apple sauce and only bake the granola for 10 – 12 minutes the second time. Feel free to choose whatever combination of dried fruits and nuts you prefer. Change it up with dried cranberries and macadamia nuts, or almonds and dried blueberries, or apricots and hazelnuts. Throw in a handful of chopped bitter sweet chocolate after it’s cooled. Whatever you fancy. Make it yours.
The toasted quinoa adds a nice crunch!
Granola and milk in a bowl?
Sprinkled over yogurt?
Dry, out of the container?
Wrapped into a whole-wheat tortilla with peanut butter and apple slices?
What’s your favorite way to eat granola? Share your granola eating quirks in the comments below.