To me, the hardest thing about sending care packages is keeping it a secret until it reaches its destination. I’m serious. I’ve never been one for surprises and I have absolutely no patience (I’m working on it), so the two to three days of transit to the West coast often drives me bananas.
During my Spring Break/furlough last week, Ben and I decided we were overdue to send a few goodies to our loved ones on the west coast. We wrote notes, made up a batch of Quinoa Granola [see recipe below], as well as a few sets of earrings for my favorite ladies [which I will post soon], and sent out the packages.
Yesterday I finally started getting word that they were received! Woohoo! That means I can post about it! Haha.
This Quinoa Granola is easily Ben and my favorite granola recipe to date. I adapted it from Hungry Hungry Hippie‘s Quinoa Granola to amp up the seeds, reduce the sugar, and lessen the amount of oil a bit. I also added a bit more brown rice syrup to try to make it clumpy, although I don’t know if that worked, so you can play around with it for clumpiness. I used simple low-sugar dried papaya as a mix-in because it has the least amount of sugar, but you could easily substitute it for cranberries or raisins if you like.
I love the added protein from the quinoa and buckwheat, and like that it’s not overly sweet, but sweet enough to top plain, non-fat yogurt. So far the reviews have been good – Alli [click her name to view her amazing blog] says she’s been eating it out of the bag with her hands, so I’d say it was a success.
[Ingredients - this double-batch made enough to send off to friends and keep some for ourselves, so you may want to half it]
- 2 c rolled oats
- 2/3 c buckwheat groats
- 1/3 c quinoa
[seeds + nuts]
- 4 Tbsp chia seeds
- 4 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp flaxseed
- 1 c raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 c raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 c raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 c shredded coconut [I used the partially-defatted kind]
[liquids + spices]
- 2.5 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 c maple syrup
- 1/3 c coconut oil
- 5 Tbsp brown rice syrup
- 2 Tbsp applesauce
- ~1 c low-sugar dried papaya
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine all the grains, seeds, and nuts in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Combine the liquids and heat them over low heat until the coconut oil and brown rice syrup is melted.
Mix the spices into the liquids, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
Mix + stir.
Spread onto a non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Enjoy! There is nothing like the incredible smell of granola baking!