Spice Up Breakfast With This Easy, Homemade Granola

Untitled-1Photo: Courtesy of Foodie Underground.
Foodie Underground, a project curated in part by Anna Brones, explores our relationship with the origin of our eats. Motivated by an unwavering belief that food should never be complicated or pretentious, Anna — author of vegetarian and GF primer The Culinary Cyclist, is serving up everything from the best veggie BBQ to a beginner's guide to pesto. Hungry yet?
One of my favorite things to make is granola: Once you get a good base down, you can pretty much add any fruit, seeds, and spices that you want. It’s also one of those things that when you start making it yourself you wonder why you ever bought the pre-made version.
Granted, not everyone has a lot of time to be in the kitchen, but compared to a processed bag of granola, the pay-off from making your own is well worth it. Plus, if you want to change the food system, there’s no better thing to do than just cook things yourself (no, really, just go open up a copy of Cooked). I don’t need to really tell you about all the negative aspects of industrial, processed food do I? Didn’t think so. Moving on.
This recipe makes getting rid of a commonly purchased item quite simple. It really is all about mixing some stuff in a bowl and baking it. But the twist is in the quinoa. Toasting quinoa is a neat trick I learned last year. Making it takes only a few minutes, and you get a nice crunchy texture to the quinoa that makes a good addition to a granola. Keeps it from being just a boring combination of oats and nuts so to say.
Now, to making your own granola with toasted quinoa. Enjoy.
Untitled-2Photo: Courtesy of Foodie Underground.
Hazelnut Granola With Toasted Quinoa
2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raw hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried figs, chopped or cut into small pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors
1/4 cup uncooked white quinoa
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (I like to crush my own seeds, but you can buy it pre-ground, too)
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
In a bowl, combine the oats, coconut, hazelnuts, figs, salt, and spices. Place the quinoa in a small frying pan and toast over medium heat, constantly stirring so that it doesn’t burn. After a little bit, you’ll hear popping noises. That means the quinoa is toasted. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the oat mixture. Stir the ingredients together until well blended.
Pour olive oil and honey into a small saucepan, and slowly warm on low heat. As it warms, whisk or stir with a fork until the oil and honey are thoroughly blended together. Pour over the oats, and using a wooden fork, stir until the oats and other ingredients are evenly coated.
Spread out the oat mixture on a baking tray and bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Granola should have a golden brown color to it.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool place into a glass jar with a lid to store. Serve with yogurt, milk, soy milk, hemp milk, or whatever else you deem appropriate. It’s also good with some fresh fruit sliced on top.

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