I wanted to switch it up from having smoothies for breakfast everyday and because processed cereals are out the door (for obvious reasons!) during my cleanse, I wanted to make granola. I’ve seen tons of recipes when I browse my foodgawker app, and it made me realize that making granola is a relatively easy process! Like I said before, there are tons of recipes out there on how to make granola, what ingredients to add.
Before going in the oven to brown & turn crunchy
Straight out the oven
It’s such a fun recipe to make because you can add pretty much anything to it to give it an added crunch: dried fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, chocolate chips (I wish!!!) etc etc etc The possibilities are truly endless. The recipe I chose to adapt to my liking was Two Peas & Their Pod’s Crunchy Quinoa Granola (recipe can be found here). I liked it because it used quinoa as ingredient, and guess what? I have a ton of quinoa in the pantry (went a little overboard at the bulk aisle ; )) and wanted some creative ways to use it.
I am learning that quinoa can be used in relatively anything – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, appetizers, snacks…you name it! (As I type this, I’m eating a vegetable paella made with…can you take a wild guess… Quinoa!!)
The recipe called for brown sugar which would add an inherent sweetness to the granola, but as my cleanse requires no refined sugar, I left it out. It didn’t make much of a difference to the final taste…still good to me!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup homemade applesauce *recipe below
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tbsp all-natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 300F
- Wash quinoa thoroughly in a strainer. Drain well and set aside.
- Measure out oats, and add to a medium sized bowl along with almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, olive oil, vanilla extract and peanut butter.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix.
- Transfer the granola to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly.
- Bake the granola at 300F for 40-50 minutes till the granola is crunchy and turned a golden brown color. It's important to stir the granola every 10 minutes to mix it up and so the quinoa doesn't burn at the edges of the tray.
- Once done baking, remove and add in the chopped apricots, cranberries and golden raisins; Stir to combine.
- Let the granola cool before transferring to an airtight container.
This homemade applesauce recipe is the friggen bomb. It’s so simple to make, has just three ingredients: apples, water and cinnamon. No added sugars, no processed ingredients, nothing. And, the best part? It tasted delicious. I used braeburn apples which were mildly sweet, but you can use sweeter varieties if a sweeter applesauce is desired.
Two apples yielded a cup of applesauce for the granola recipe, and I still had a little leftover…which I ate, gleefully! Yum yum get in my tum!
- 2 medium sized apples
- 1 1/2 -2 cups water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Peel, core and chop the two apples.
- Transfer to a pot and add in the water. I used about 1 1/2 cup water, it should just cover the chopped apples.
- Bring to a boil, and then lower heat and let the apples simmer in the water for about 5 minutes, until they are soft enough to mash.
- Mash apples with a fork. If there is still liquid, let it simmer uncovered for a couple more minutes till it reaches the desired consistency.
- Add cinnamon to the sauce. Remove from heat. Transfer to an airtight container and let cool before refrigerating.