I absolutely love the crunch of a good granola on top of my smoothie bowls and chia puddings.
With that said, for a few years now, I prefer to avoid oat-y granolas. I notice that, personally, I get more bloated and uneasy when I take too much grains and legumes. I didn’t stop eating them, but I do try to consume these types of foods in moderation.
I’ve been making grain-free granolas for years, specially when I make them directly on the stove, I love to use only nuts and seeds. This does come with a cost though, so for a few months now I’ve been adding raw quinoa, a pseudo-cereal (foods that are prepared and eaten as a whole grain, but are botanical outliers from grasses, meaning: seeds) that, by the way, is loaded with the nine essential amino acids and thus considered a full protein source.
What I’ve come to realize is that, to my excitement, this small change makes the crunchiest granola of all times!
So this recipe today is considered a game-changer – full protein source, crunchy, aaaand… Much less sugar content than the normal recipes we’ve all baked before.
I’ve replaced the natural sweetener normally used – like honey, date syrup, maple, agave… – for fresh fruit! If using a very sweet fruit, you can completely omit the natural sweetener, if not, you can add just a couple tablespoons, a mashed date or a few pinches of coconut sugar. I usually use apples, for the photos I’ve used cooked butternut squash, and I’ve also tried banana, cooked sweet potato and persimmons. Happy to report that all worked great!
Well then, let’s go to the recipe!
This Revolutionary Granola is grain free, a complete source of protein, has low sugar content and uses no oils! And of course, is made with all-natural, wholesome ingredients, being part of a balanced plant-based diet.
Revolutionary Quinoa Granola
makes about 3 cups
1 cup uncooked, dry quinoa (white, red or black will work)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup almonds and hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup poppy seeds
100gr sweet apple, chopped (fuji, pink lady, royal; other fruits or sweet baked veggies work too!)
2 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 pinch sea salt
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºc and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, place all the quinoa, seeds and nuts.
3. In a small food-processor, or with an immersion blender, blend the apple (or other fruit or cooked veggie) with the spices, salt and sugar, if using, until smooth.
4. Fold in the apple mixture into the bowl and incorporate well, making sure that every ingredient is very well coated.
5. Spread the mix onto the lined baking sheet, gentle and evenly, and bake for 30-40min, checking every once in a while to prevent from browning. For perfect results, turn off the oven when done and allow the granola to cool in the oven (don’t close the oven completely for this step).
6. Allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight glass container for up to 2 months. Enjoy with your favourite yoghurt, smoothie, pudding or as a simple topping for fruit (or veggie) salad!