Say what you want about Rebecca Black and her hit single (uh… or something) “Friday“… but the girl’s got some sense. An essential part of her morning (along with “be[ing] fresh”) is eating breakfast.
And that’s more than I can say. Before just a few weeks ago, I never ate breakfast. Now I grab an apple on my way out the door, but the last time I actually cooked something for breakfast was when it snowed.
Now, I’m not normally one of those people who turn down food (who are those people, by the way? When did they come to this planet?), but generally I don’t like to eat when I’m not hungry. I know, I know, eating when you wake up jump-starts your metabolism yada yada… but I’m sure pounding 4 cups of coffee does the same thing, right?
A couple weeks ago, though, I met a recipe that is capable of changing a breakfast-avoider’s mind. When Elise from Hungry Hungry Hippie posted about quinoa granola, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be pulling a batch out of my oven. This granola has crunchy clusters, tons of flavor, and is SO adaptable — if you don’t have an ingredient on hand, just sub it out for something else! I’ve included a list of add-ins that sound delicious to me, but feel free to come up with your own. Let me know what works for you!!
Also, check out this post by Gourmande in the Kitchen to learn the art of great granola-making. I especially love the idea of adding Rice Krispies for added crunch!
Quinoa-Buckwheat Granola, adapted from Hungry Hungry Hippie. Makes about 5-6 cups.
1 cup whole rolled oats
1 cup buckwheat (you can find these at Whole Foods or Central Market in the bulk section, or just sub 1 more cup of oats)
1/3 cup quinoa
2 T chia seeds (optional)
3/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped*
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)*
1/4 cup sunflower seeds*
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped*
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup dried cranberries*
1/3 cup raisins*
1/2 cup maple syrup (may not all be necessary depending on how sweet you want it to be)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (I used some coconut oil and some peanut oil)
*These add-ins can be substituted for pretty much anything you want. Raw nuts are preferred so they don’t burn, but roasted is okay too. Nut ideas: hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachios, soy nuts; dried fruit ideas: papaya, candied ginger, apricots, dates, apples, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, bananas. Also, try mixing in cocoa powder before you bake it, or throwing in chocolate chips after it’s cooled for an extra treat!
In a large bowl, mix together oats, buckwheat, quinoa, and chia seeds. Chop nuts and add to bowl, along with seeds, coconut, and cinnamon. Throw in the fruit and mix well. Add liquids (melted coconut oil and maple syrup) gradually while mixing. Spread onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes at 225F. Let it cool then break it part (though it should break apart naturally as you scoop it up.
Eat with milk, over yogurt or oatmeal, or plain.