As we've all read, making granola at home is so much cheaper (and better!) than many you will find in stores, but my main fascination is with the ingredients I can put in it.
Filling our versions with all sorts of healthy ingredients while maintaining an aura of sweetness has sometimes been a challenge. Not so with this Coconut version though, first try and it was good to go.
Oats and ground flax have been staples for my granolas, but lately I've been seeing granola versions with quinoa. Quinoa in granola? Oh, my yes!! Personally, I love a good crunchy granola, and toasted quinoa adds just that. Bringing me to my next thought, "What about Hemp Seed?"
But is hemp safe?? My husband's first question wondered why I was bringing marijuana into our pantry, but my prior research put his mind immediately at ease when I explained that hemp is THC-free, and while it is indeed part of the cannabis family, it is safe and drug free (I found this article from The Nourishing Gourmet to be great source of information with links to even more info).
But back to our granola... now filled with oats, flax, quinoa and hemp, we needed sweetness, or what I call "the goodies". The goodies are sometimes my favorite part of the granola as they lend a burst of flavor and sweetness to each bite. Another new to me ingredients, the superfood Goldenberries, made its bursting with flavor way into this concoction. Filled with vital nutrients including beta-carotene, protein, bioflavinoids and vitamin A, Goldenberries are my new "grab and go snack". With their sweet/tart flavor, the chewy dried berries became the perfect finishing touch to our mixture.
Super in taste as well as nutrition, granola is here to stay.
Super Coconut Quinoa Granola with Hemp and Goldenberries
Filled with superfoods (quinoa, flax, hemp and goldenberries) in addition to heart healthy oatmeal and walnuts, this granola makes an ideal snack whether it's eaten out of hand or as a topping to your favorite yogurt parfait.
3 cups rolled oats (gluten free if you like)
1/2 cup quinoa (raw)
1/3 cup ground flax meal
1/4 cup hemp seed
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs melted coconut oil
1 egg white
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs dried coconut (any kind)
handful of chopped walnuts
handful of raisins
handful of goldenberries
Preheat oven to 350º.
Measure the oatmeal, quinoa, flax meal, hemp and cinnamon into a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt the coconut oil if it is solid (a few seconds in the micro should do the trick!). Set aside. In a medium bowl add the egg white, salt, vanilla, maple syrup and brown sugar, whisk until well combined. Add the egg white/sugar mixture to the oatmeal mixture and stir a time or two, then add the melted coconut oil (I found if I added the warm coconut oil to the cold egg it hardened, hence we made two steps out of it). Stir all the ingredients together to evenly combine.
Pour the oat mixture onto an oiled jelly roll pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Place in the pre-heated oven. Stir after 15 minutes, making sure to incorporate the edges into the center (the edges will brown faster) of the mixture. Check and stir again after another 7 minutes or so. At this point our granola needed another 4 minutes to become perfectly browned. Keep an eye on yours as it can go from nicely browned to perfectly burnt in a flash!
Remove granola from oven when nicely browned and immediately add the dried fruits, coconut and walnuts. Give a little stir and allow to cool. I've read that homemade granola will last up to 2 weeks, but ours never stays around that long. Enjoy!
Liv Life Note: Last time we made this granola we ran out of eggs... using 3-4 Tbs of coconut oil and skipping the egg white made the granola even crunchier!