I went a little granola crazy this weekend. The hubs and I decided to do snacks and foodie items for Christmas this year, so I made two batches of granola. It went fast.
The first was adapted from this recipe by Joy the Baker. I also got the mason jar idea from her. Genius.
Not gonna lie, I wasn’t sure about the goji berries, but they were awesome!
The second was something I sort of made up on the fly because I was running out of oats. And it was absolutely amazing. It was also super festive because I used red quinoa, cherries and pistachios. Did I mention that it was delicious?
This is a super savory granola, but if you want to sweeten it up, feel free to add more agave nectar. I don’t think it needs it…
The quinoa and cocoa nibs give this an awesome crunch and the coconut oil gives a super savory, rich flavor. I think this is my new favorite granola!
Look at this recipe as more of a guideline than something set in stone.
Crunchy Quinoa Granola
4 cups rolled oats.
2 cups red quinoa, uncooked–be sure to rinse and drain it!
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup cocoa nibs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut-I like the flakes because it adds some awesome texture
1 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (I chopped mine a little too much, you’ll want big chunks for that beautiful green color!)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 pinch smoked salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
What to do:
Preheat oven to 325.
Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
Combine all dry ingredients except the cherries in a large bowl, give it a good toss to make sure it’s well mixed.
Heat coconut oil and agave nectar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until combined.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Add to dry ingredients and mix well, ensuring the mixture is well coated.
Pour granola onto baking sheets, making sure to spread evenly.
Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown, pulling out twice to toss mixture (so it doesn’t burn).
Let cool completely and add dried cherries. Granola will last several weeks in an airtight container. Serve over milk, yogurt or by the handful.
Good morning, good morning!
Okay…I know it’s actually the afternoon, but it’s fine. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling pretty fly today. Also, why does no one say “fly” anymore?. Speaking of flying, where has the last week gone? And why am I so crazy busy?!
Anyway, the reasons I am feeling great? I dragged my butt outta bed at 5:30 am and went for a quick run with a friend-Shout-out to Tara!!!
Did I mention that it was 12 degrees out? Yeah, it felt good. But, a nice hot shower felt even better.
And better still, thanks to my amazing hubs, I headed to work with iced coffee in hand (there is currently a half gallon of it in my fridge. Life is good). I also scarfed down some homemade granola and NY yogurt for breakfast. Yummo! I even managed to pack a delicious lunch. And got to work on time..on a Monday.
Top o’ the world, kiddos!
Anyway, this granola is super easy to make. And it is full of stuff you can buy in bulk. The other good thing? There is no set way to make it, merely guidelines-so mix it up. Also, don’t judge on the surprise ingredient. Just go with it. What can I say? I’m a woman obsessed.
Side Note: This would make an awesome gift for your friends, put it in a cute little bag, with some nice coffee or tea? Perfect. It would also be a perfect brunch item. Paired with a Mimosa…or a spicy Bloody Mary if you’re like me.
Adapted from several recipes
*Makes about 12 generous 3/4 cup servings-582 calories- full of good fats, fiber, potassium, protein, vitamins A, C and iron!) Translation: This stuff will put some pep in your step and keep you fuller loooonger! *
What I used:
5 cups oats (I used steel cut but rolled will also do)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
4 tbsp. sesame seeds-I used white and black
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flax seed meal
A pinch of sea salt
1 to 2 tsp. Smokey Paprika (Just trust me on this.)
1/2 cup olive oil (you could use a different oil, this is just what I had on hand)
1-4 to 1/2 cup agave nectar (or Honey)
1/3 cup dried apple rings, chopped
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
What to do:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine your dry ingredients (except the fruit!) into a large bowl and mix until combined.
Heat oil and agave nectar in a saucepan over low heat-you don’t have to heat it up, but I found it made the nectar a lot easier to work with and thins the mixture out. Pour over the dry ingredients and toss until evenly coated.
Spread granola evenly into two rimmed (and lightly greased) baking sheets.
Bake for about 30 minutes until oats are golden brown, pulling both pans out and stirring mixture up occasionally to avoid burning.
Let cool and mix in your dried fruit. Store in a tightly sealed container. Serve by itself, or with yogurt or milk.
Note: I am not a huge fan of super fruity/sweet granola, so I started with 1/4 cup agave nectar and gradually added more. I ended up adding 2 tbsp. of honey after taking it out of the oven, mostly for the hubs. I also didn’t add a ton of dried fruit. This made the granola more savory, so adjust this measurement according to your taste. Next time I’ll probably add some pumpkin/sunflower seeds. Again, this is just a guideline, use your imagination with your ingredients. And trust me on the smokey paprika-AMAZING!
Stay tuned for… another post coming soon!!!
Hummus is probably one of my favorite snacks. For a brief period, when I lived by myself and didn’t feel like cooking all three meals, I ate hummus and crackers for lunch or dinner all the time. It’s something light and involves no fuss. Or dishes. I like that.
I am a big fan of hummus with crackers (I love the Kashi TLC’s) or in a veggie wrap/pita…or even just a scoop of it on a salad. It also works well as a spread on sandwiches.
I discovered that it is way cheaper to make than to buy…and you can do pretty much whatever you want with it-it’s almost impossible to screw it up.
You can even make sweet potato hummus (shout-out to Becca for introducing me to this awesome idea!)
I am a huge fan of garlic, lemon and a little spice in my hummus.
Anyway, here is how I make it, I’m not the best at measuring things out, so these are just guidelines-do what suits your tastes!
- 1 (16 oz.) can of chickpeas (you can also use the dry beans and soak them…I used the canned to save time)
- a bunch of parsley-about a tbsp.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Tahini
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Spanish Smoked Paprika-keep in mind, a little goes a long way.
- a few dashes crushed red pepper
- sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Open your can of chickpeas and drain.
Chop garlic and parsley.
Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until smooth.
*Note: I was lazy and didn’t want the extra dishes, so I used my walnut chopper and a fork to mash everything together in a large bowl, it was a bit lumpy, but I liked the added texture*
Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies or pita…or by the spoonful to your mouth.
If you’re having company over, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and arrange with veggies/pita on a platter-they’ll love you forever!
Hummus should last for about a week, covered and refrigerated.
Have a great day everyone!