Today, I want to talk about granola. Maple Granola with Quinoa and Cranberries, to be exact. I have a long love affair with good granola. Yes, I will admit it. I am a total granola snob. None of that dry, crumbly and bland boxed business. When I was 16 years old, I spent the better part of my summer living at a camp on the beautiful west coast of Norway. In addition to immersing myself in local language and culture, I was treated to a season of amazing Scandinavian foods. From smorbrød (open faced sandwiches) to gjeitøst (Norwegian brown cheese with an amazing caramel like flavor!) and, of course, lefse, I loved every bit of it. One of my favorite meals, though simple, was beautiful local yogurt sprinkled with homemade granola and drizzled with some honey.
This granola recipe is filled with nostalgia and good, simple ingredients. It takes only a few minutes to mix together and lasts for a good week in a sealed container. I love it with yogurt, a splash of almond milk, or even just by the handful! If you have a sweet tooth, you can drizzle a little honey on top but I personally like it just as it is. Package a little up in pretty jar, add some yogurt (love it with Siggi’s vanilla), some artisan honey and a beautiful bow and you have a great little neighbor gift for the holidays. The best part of the recipe is that it really can be customized to your taste and what’s in your pantry!
In this particular granola, I’ve added pecans, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries for a wintery feel. The quinoa gives it a great crunch and some added protein! I’ve chosen to use coconut oil in the granola to give it a subtle hint of coconut flavor, but you can easily substitute olive oil if you don’t have or don’t like coconut oil. Maple syrup and brown sugar add just the right amount of sweetness. Don’t leave out the kosher salt though! It really adds that little something extra.
One key to the recipe: don’t over cook it. The granola will make your home smell fantastic while it’s baking, but keep a close eye on it as it does tend to go from golden to burned very quickly!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ⅓ cup uncooked, pre rinsed quinoa
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt (decrease slightly if using salted pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add the oats, quinoa, pecans, pumpkin seeds and cranberries.
- Toss gently to combine.
- In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt the coconut oil.
- Add the brown sugar, maple syrup and salt to the coconut oil and whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Pour the liquid mix over the oats and nut mix and stir until coated.
- Transfer the granola to the sheet pan and spread evenly throughout the pan with a spatula.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.