Unfortunately, I cannot eat barley – I am very sensitive to it and if I eat it, my tummy blows up like a beach ball and I can create enough gas to power a small power station – pharp… :/ But it’s in so many breads, cereals and granolas so I really have to be careful when I am buying things from the shops.  It’s often much easier just to make my own at home so I know exactly what has gone into it.

This gluten-free granola is the result of me trying to create a delicious breakfast granola which is full of protein, healthy fats and fibre.  I have used coconut oil to help it crisp up whilst baking and maple syrup to add some welcomed natural sweetness.

The ways of making home-made granola are many, so use this recipe as a base but do not feel restricted – use whatever you have in your pantry as there are so many different nuts, seeds, dried fruits and grains to choose from.  You can also swap the oil and sweetener, or omit them altogether if you prefer.  I am sure that the next time I make granola, it will be different to what I have made here, simply due to the availability of ingredients or desire for a little change on flavour.

If you decide to add some dried fruits such as apricots, figs, dates, prunes etc – I would add these after the baking – just chop them up and stir them into the cooled mixture.  You can omit the maple syrup too as the dried fruits will make the granola sweet enough, plus limiting the amount of sugar added.

Here’s a guide to what ingredients to use, but feel free to swap any of them for what you have available.

I have used;

  •  raw cacao nibs
  • sesame seeds
  • pure Maple syrup – but swap for dried fruit, rice syrup, agave, xylitol, stevia etc
  • pumpkin seeds
  • coconut oil – swap for rapeseed oil, avocado oil or your preference
  • sunflower seeds
  • hazelnuts
  • coconut flakes
  • almonds
  • cooked quinoa – use buckwheat, millet, freekah, oats etc

 

Please note: I cooked my own quinoa for this recipe.  It has been cooked and cooled prior to making the granola.  Home-cooked quinoa will retain more moisture than a pre-cooked packet one so the oven baking time should be adjusted accordingly.  Home-cooked quinoa needs to be cooked for longer in the oven to remove more of the moisture.  The packet quinoa will already have much of this moisture removed before packing so it will toast much more quickly.  The difference in oven time could be as much as 20mins so you need to keep an eye on the granola and use your judgement when it is toasted enough.

You can leave the nuts whole or break them down in a food processor like I have done here as I prefer to have smaller pieces of nuts throughout the granola.  Simply place them in a food processor and pulse several times until broken down to the size of your liking.

Place the nuts, seeds, quinoa and coconut flakes (EXCL. cacao nibs – you will add these at the end), into a large bowl and combine.  Then melt the coconut oil gently over a low heat, turn off the heat, then stir in the maple syrup.  Gradually stir this mixture into the granola mixture, stirring continuously, to ensure an even coverage.

Spread the mixture over 2 baking trays, creating a thin layer on each to enable even toasting.

Bake in the oven for about 30mins (this is for home-cooked quinoa – store-bought, packet quinoa will be much drier so reduce the toasting time by as much as half – keep your eye on the granola so it does not dry out and burn).

It is important that every 5 or so minutes, you give the tray of granola a little stir and shake to prevent the edges cooking more quickly and burning.

Add more cooking time on if needed, using your judgement to know when it is cooked.  You want to ensure that as much moisture is removed from the quinoa as possible to ensure a crunchy texture!

Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Now stir in the raw cacao nibs (and any dried fruit if using).

Once completely cooled, store in an air-tight container, in the fridge.  Because there will still be some moisture lurking in the cooked quinoa, it is safest to store this in the fridge to prevent mould, as room temperature (especially if you live in a warmer climate), and moisture is the best combination for mould growth, so best to keep cool in the fridge and eat within 3-4 days.

Enjoy this granola on it’s own as an ideal snack or food item to take out if leaving the house for the day, or add to fruit, milk, yoghurt or even use as a savoury addition to salads for extra nutrition and texture.

Enjoy experimenting!

Toasted Quinoa, Nut & Seed Granola with Sweet Coconut

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
cooling: 40 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Joanne
Print

Ingredients

  • 350 g cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 heaped spoonfuls coconut oil melted
  • 60 mls pure Maple syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs

Instructions

  1. Please note: I cooked my own quinoa for this recipe. It has been cooked and cooled prior to making the granola. Home-cooked quinoa will retain more moisture than a pre-cooked packet one so the oven baking time should be adjusted accordingly. Home-cooked quinoa needs to be cooked for longer in the oven to remove more of the moisture. The packet quinoa will already have much of this moisture removed before packing so it will toast much more quickly. The difference in oven time could be as much as 20mins so you need to keep an eye on the granola and use your judgement when it is toasted enough.

  2. You can leave the nuts whole or break them down in a food processor like I have done here as I prefer to have smaller pieces of nuts throughout the granola. Simply place them in a food processor and pulse several times until broken down to the size of your liking.

  3. Place the nuts, seeds, quinoa and coconut flakes (EXCL. cacao nibs - you will add these at the end), into a large bowl and combine. Then melt the coconut oil gently over a low heat, turn off the heat, then stir in the maple syrup. Gradually stir this mixture into the granola mixture, stirring continuously, to ensure an even coverage.

  4. Spread the mixture over 2 baking trays, creating a thin layer on each to enable even toasting.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 30mins (this is for home-cooked quinoa - store-bought, packet quinoa will be much drier so reduce the toasting time by as much as half - keep your eye on the granola so it does not dry out and burn).

    It is important that every 5 or so minutes, you give the tray of granola a little stir and shake to prevent the edges cooking more quickly and burning.

  6. Add more cooking time on if needed, using your judgement to know when it is cooked. You want to ensure that as much moisture is removed from the quinoa as possible to ensure a crunchy texture!

  7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

    Now stir in the raw cacao nibs (and any dried fruit if using).

  8. Once completely cooled, store in an air-tight container, in the fridge. Because there will still be some moisture lurking in the cooked quinoa, it is safest to store this in the fridge to prevent mould, as room temperature (especially if you live in a warmer climate), and moisture is the best combination for mould growth, so best to keep cool in the fridge and eat within 3-4 days.
Please share!