Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Granola

I have been on a quinoa kick lately. I have been buying quinoa in the bulk section at the grocery store lately and it is so cheap, something like $3.50 a pound. A pound of quinoa goes a long way so it is very economical which is a plus because health food can be expensive. I was researching quinoa recipes the other day and it said that a lot of people eat it at breakfast as a hot cereal, like oatmeal which has intrigued me but I have yet to try it. I also found lots of recipes for homemade granola that use quinoa but many of them have lots of sugar, syrup, dried fruit, nuts, and tons of oil. It got me thinking, I wonder if I could make it without the oil, fruit, nuts etc. which would make it more PINK friendly. I worked off a basic recipe that was close to being PINK friendly which can be found at Clean Eating Chelsey and tweaked it to make it my own and more PINK friendly.

So where does this fit into the PINK meal plan? I ate this for breakfast and counted it as my slow carb. For the protein I added in some greek yogurt. I also counted 1/3 cup as  a serving of slow carb because in the PINK method book it states that 1/2 cup cooked quinoa is a serving, When it bakes down and crunches up, it does shrink a bit so that was my best estimate as to how much a serving is. I approximate I will get 5- 1/3 cup servings from this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Granola
3/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa flakes (could sub old fashion oats)
4 medjool dates chopped into a paste
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp chia seeds (could use flax seeds or leave them out)
1/4 almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups water


Start by cooking your quinoa in the water along with the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. It will take about 15 minutes for the quinoa to soften and the liquid to be absorbed/evaporate.

While the quinoa is cooking, pit your dates and chop them into a paste using your blender or food processor. If you don't have dates, you could use stevia, they are really only there to add sweetness.

Add your pumpkin puree to your dates, if you don't have pumpkin, I bet smashed bananas would work well also.

Add in the chia seeds and almond milk, vanilla and stir everything together, making sure the date paste is mixed in so there are no large clumps of dates

When the quinoa is done, add it to your pumpkin mixture and stir to combine

Add in your quinoa flakes or oats if you prefer and stir to combine

You should be left with a gooey sticky mess

Spread the quinoa pumpkin mixture out on a cookie sheet that is lined with a sil-pat (silicone baking sheet) or parchment paper

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

After 15 minutes of cooking, take out of the oven and break up the mixture into clumps using a spatula

Return to the oven for 15 minutes and stir again. Continue this process until the granola has gotten crunchy, mine took about 1 hour or so. As it cooks the granola  will darken. It will also get slightly crunchier as it cools so be sure that you don't over back the granola or else it will have a burnt taste.

Eat with some Greek yogurt or some almond milk, like you would cereal, however this is not an overly sweet granola like some granola . Feel free to add in nuts and dried fruit if you like just be careful because those items up the calories of this granola quickly and dried fruit really does contain a lot of sugar, especially the kind you find in the store. I also am not a PINK expert but I am not sure how PINK friendly those items would be, that is why I left mine fairly plain.


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