It has been quite a whirlwind for us since the start of the new year. On Friday, January 4th the moving truck to got dropped off at our house and we had that weekend to pack up everything we wanted to keep, to go out to California and go into storage. The truck was on it’s way on the following Monday, January 7 and then we had the rest of the week to finish cleaning up the house, sell off our remaining furniture that we weren’t taking with us and get ourselves temporarily moved over to my parents house where we are staying until the official move to California.
Yesterday our house closed!! So, after the moving truck pulled away last week and now handing off the keys of our house to the new owners, it is definitely all very real. We have a lot to do before we are officially on our way to California for good, but it is all feeling a little less overwhelming. At least right now. Staying at my parent’s house is going to take some getting used to, since I haven’t lived at home in nearly 10 years, but it is also really nice to spend some quality time with my parent’s before we move across the country.
Last week was spent getting settled here and wrapping up everything at our house, but over the weekend I finally got some time to sit down and write up some recipes that have been swirling around in my head the last few weeks. I also made time to meal plan for the next week and write a grocery list. Yesterday I made dinner for everyone, hopefully the first of many while we are here. We popped a bottle of prosecco to celebrate the house sale being finalized and I made a huge pot of my chili, with some of the grass-fed ground beef from our farmer and some ground venison from a local hunter. Then I spent some time in the evening making this granola.
I am quite fond of minimal food photos that really allow the food to be the center focus rather than lots of props and other stuff, and I am excited to have some of my photography stuff here, but I really don’t have any of my props besides my nice white back drop. So, look for even more minimal photos than ever here at Tasty Yummies over the coming weeks. Hopefully the food will be as enticing as ever and I can create some fun stuff in the kitchen here at my parent’s place to share with you guys. With or without props and linens. I have some fun stuff in the works for you guys. By the way, the napkin seen in these photos is something I made as a gift for my mom. Designed and hand silkscreened fabric made by me and then I sewed it into a set of napkins. I still owe her a few to make the set complete, but we are going to work on them together, now that I am staying here! Can’t wait.
I think what I like about this granola is that it is grain-free, something I am trying to be much more aware of, as I definitely feel better and less bloated when I am not consuming a lot of grains. Besides the fact, quinoa, those cute little seeds, often mistaken for a grain, is a nutritional powerhouse of a super-food, take a read here for the long list of benefits quinoa has to offer. I went a bit heavier on the maple syrup than I normally would have, but I really wanted to capture some of the wonderful maple flavor. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t lost in the flavor of the quinoa and cinnamon. Feel free to use less and/or to also consider adding in a tablespoon or two of some blackstrap molasses, which is a great source of iron. And as always with so many of my recipes, you can easily make this recipe your own. Taking out, adding in or swapping your favorite nuts, seeds, fruit and spices. This is a versatile recipe that is quite easily adaptable.
[print_this]Maple Cinnamon Crunch Quinoa Granola
Makes approximately 4-5 cups
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked (rinsed well and drained)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut chips
- 1/3 cup flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl or directly in a roasting pan, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the spices. If solid, heat the coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl on high for 20-30 seconds until melted. Pour the coconut oil and maple syrup evenly over all of the granola. Toss it all very well to make sure the dry ingredients are all nicely coated.
Make sure the granola is evenly spread in a thin layer in your roasting pan (you can also use a parchment paper lined baking sheet as well). I like using a roasting pan, since it makes stirring easier, so you don’t lose any over the sides. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, and slightly crisp. Stirring a few times while it is baking.
Cool completely in the roasting pan or on the baking sheet. As it cools the granola will crisp up even more. Cool fully before adding placing in air tight container for storage.
Enjoy this granola as cereal in your favorite milk (dairy or non-dairy), sprinkled with fresh fruit over your favorite yogurt or ice cream, on top of a smoothie, etc.