No Ordinary Granola
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No Ordinary Granola

quinoa-granola-apricot-cranberry-raisin-almondI 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.

 

quinoa-granola-almond-applesauceBefore going in the oven to brown & turn crunchy

quinoa-granola-almond-apricot-raisin-cranberry
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.

quinoa-granola-apricot-cranberry-raisin-almond
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!!)

quinoa-granola-apricot-cranberry-raisin-almondThe 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!

 

No Ordinary Granola

No Ordinary Granola

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Wash quinoa thoroughly in a strainer. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Measure out oats, and add to a medium sized bowl along with almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, olive oil, vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix.
  6. Transfer the granola to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly.
  7. 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.
  8. Once done baking, remove and add in the chopped apricots, cranberries and golden raisins; Stir to combine.
  9. Let the granola cool before transferring to an airtight container.
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applesauce

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!

applesauce-homemade-cinnamon

Homemade Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized apples
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Peel, core and chop the two apples.
  2. Transfer to a pot and add in the water. I used about 1 1/2 cup water, it should just cover the chopped apples.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add cinnamon to the sauce. Remove from heat. Transfer to an airtight container and let cool before refrigerating.
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