Sprouted Quinoa, Pear & Molasses Granola

26 Tue, 2011 § 2 Comments

Did you miss us?  No?  Did you even notice we had left?  No? 😛  Tricky aren’t we?

I eluded to our camping trip, which we thoroughly enjoyed…last Tuesday through Sunday.  I prepped a couple posts, hit schedule, unplugged & lost myself in the desert for 5 days.

Aw.

(even despite the rain.)

Aw.

Are we really back?

We are, but now I can reminisce over our adventures with you.

We should always start with food though; don’t you agree?

I love quinoa granola & have found its perfect match: molasses.  Try it.  You’ll never look back.

Molasses is a rich source of iron & calcium — important for those following a plant-based diet — as well as magnesium & potassium, providing 20% of the daily recommended value for each of these nutrients.

Sprouted Quinoa & Pear Granola with Molasses & Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 250*F.

  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1 C quinoa, sprouted
  • 1/2 C almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 C ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 C black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 C buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 C hemp protein powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • cinnamon, optional
  • 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 2 T apple juice

Stir together dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients separately.  Stir wet ingredients into the quinoa mixture & mix together.  Spread granola onto a parchment-lined baking sheet & bake ~1 hour.  Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces & storing in an airtight container.

Homemade granola — especially quinoa granola — is great for camping, backpacking or hiking.  It is the perfect way to cram a lot of nutrients into a light-weight, easy-to-pack & store snack.  Along with pieces of banana, this was delicious, light fuel in the mornings.  Dave enjoyed it so much, I’ll be sure to make enough to share next time.  😉

~

Do you cook with molasses?

Gingerbread Quinoa Crunch

8 Wed, 2010 § 2 Comments

Quinoa granola has been an obsession of mine ever since Ashley first created it.  This time I didn’t want to cook the quinoa in coconut milk though, & I wanted to give it a very distinct autumn flavor.

Tea!

Another obsession of mine that might be more apparent: I get a little carried away infusing foods with tea & not just for breakfast.

Ginger & quinoa?  There was no way that wasn’t going to turn out beautifully.

One problem: I only had one bag of ginger tea left.  So I added another teaspoon of powdered ginger to the cooking quinoa & carried on, ending up with subtle ginger undertones.  Lovely!  I knew it wouldn’t stand out much once combined with the other ingredients, so I adjusted the recipe to make double strength tea & also added gingerbread spice to the mix.

Mmmm.  Festive & warming — great for snacking — & even more delicious if it’s drowned in almond milk.

Autumn Quinoa Granola

makes ~4 cups

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 bags ginger tea [I like Yogi Lemon Ginger or you could just add powdered ginger]

Steep tea 5 – 10 minutes.

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

Combine tea & quinoa & bring to a simmer.

  • 2 tsp vanilla

Stir in vanilla.

Cover, reduce heat & simmer 15 – 20 minutes until quinoa is cooked & water is absorbed.

Allow to sit covered for a few minutes before fluffing.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 T raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 T raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 2 T hemp seeds
  • dash salt

Combine with quinoa.

  • 2 T brown rice syrup
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 T coconut oil, melted

Whisk together syrups & oil.  Stir into quinoa mixture.

  • ½ – 1 tsp gingerbread spice mix, optional

Mix into granola.

Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet & bake for 1 hour at 350*F, stirring every 15 minutes, until slightly browned & dry.  If it starts to brown too quickly reduce to 300*F.

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Sprinkle cranberries over cooked granola & allow to cool completely before transferring to an air-tight container.

~

What is your favorite granola?

SD, I Am Ready

25 Wed, 2010 § 3 Comments

We leave for San Diego tomorrow, & I could not be more excited!  I have been resisting the urge to pack for weeks!  FINALLY, this week has been all about preparing for our trip.

To keep fueled & feeling my best for SD, I have been pushing especially hard while working out & making meals that keep me feeling light  & energized.

I have been trying to stick to only fruit in the mornings for a couple weeks now.  Terry Walter’s Fruit Soup has been great for a nice pre-workout boost of energy.  Its combination of carrot juice, cantaloupe, mango & peaches is chock full of nutrients, & ground clove enhances the refreshing flavor.  I also had ginger added to the fresh carrot juice.  I am really enjoying this end-of-summer-bounty-in-a-bowl, garnished with champagne grapes; the hint of spices offers just a touch of warmth — perfect for these mornings that are becoming cooler.

I have also been devouring variations of fresh salads [piled high with sprouts Dave surprised me with] as well as Green Monsters.  I finally found a real juice bar in SLC!  The Blue Star.  Yesterday, as a post-climbing treat, I was delighted with a juice combination of romaine, bok choy, celery & watermelon.  Yum!

I will definitely make a Green Monster as pre flight fuel tomorrow & squeeze in interval training [our flight is not until 8:45am] before leaving.  Exercising makes travel much more comfortable; stimulating my muscles & blood flow should make the flight more tolerable.

Even though it is only a short flight, because I eat a small meal or snack every couple hours, packing a few goods for the plane is a must:  peaches, tea for an upset tummy & homemade Quinoa Granola will fill my carry-on [the only bag I am taking – yay].

My variation of Ashley’s original, amazingly creative, Granola.

  • Preheat oven to 375*F

~ Bring to boil & simmer about 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed:

  • 1 C Quinoa, rinsed well [I used a combination of red & white]
  • 1 Can light Coconut Milk
  • 5 Cinnamon sticks [1 tsp]
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

~ While quinoa simmers, combine:

  • ½ C Almonds, chopped
  • ½ C Cashews, chopped
  • 2 T Chia Seeds
  • ¼ C ground Flaxseeds
  • 1 T Sesame Seeds
  • Sea Salt

~ In a mixing bowl, add nut/seed mixture to cooked Quinoa.

~ Stir together:

  • 2 T Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1 T Maple Syrup
  • 1 T Coconut Oil

~ Pour over Quinoa Mixture & mix well.

~ Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

~ Bake until golden brown & almost completely dried out, ~1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

~ About halfway through baking, I sprinkled & pressed 1/2 C dried Cherries into the granola.

~ I also reduced the temperature  to 325* because it was browning too quickly.

~ Allow the granola to cool completely, before storing in an airtight container, to prevent it from going mushy.

~ I dusted a substantial amount of cinnamon over the granola before storing [I keep it in the fridge but do not think this is necessary].

In an old Yoga Journal issue, I found an amazing post flight sequence to help “get us grounded & enjoy our destination”.  It will be perfect while waiting for Dave’s sister, Christine.  I am anxious to enhance my practice, exploring new yoga classes & instructors, while in SD.

Did I mention we are going to a Padres’ game?!  Baseball is my favorite sport to watch.  Really.

Also, we will be bouldering on the beach.  Aw.

We may never come back! 🙂

~

Any tips or tricks for traveling & flying?

Dave & I will also be having a Friday date night, just the two of us, if anyone has suggestions.  [We have never been to SD.]

We Ate Like Kings

29 Thu, 2010 § 5 Comments

Because we didn’t have any climbing gear to pack, we had ample room for food & cookware.

A mere sampling of our car camping eats:

Angela’s In A Jiffy Curry Chickpea Burgers

The first time we had these, they kind of fell apart in the oven, but I loved the flavor.  I do not know if it was the freezing before hand or the pan frying method, but they were an awesome arrival dinner our first night.  The outside browned & crisped up just slightly.  I’ll be making them like this at home.  SO GOOD!

Process until smooth:

  • ½ C Oats
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 ½ tsp Curry
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Tumeric
  • ¼-½ tsp Sea Salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Parsley flakes [optional–did not use]

Add:

  • 1 ½ C cooked chickpeas  [add these as 1/2C increments]
  • 1T coconut oil, melted

Stir in:

  • 3T Sunflower seeds
  • ¼ C Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Wet hands & shape into patties.  Angela suggests baking at 375* for about 20 minutes.  Like I mentioned, freezing “raw”, then pan-frying seems to be the way to go though or at least finish them off on the grill if you bake them.

~

Flax & Oat Breakfast Power Muffins.  Another treat from Angela [can you tell I have a blog crush on her yet?]

I love how I feel after eating these — not heavy & gross like many muffins leave me — but I will probably tweak this a bit, because I’m not completely loving the flavor & texture yet. If I discover a tweaking trick, I’ll share.

~

Veggie & Black Soy Bean Scramble in Rice Tortillas


Campfire Salmon with Blackberry Sauce

~

Scape & White Bean Dip via Ashley, who is amazingly creative in the kitchen.

We love hummus, but it’s nice to switch it up a bit; white beans are usually our next go-to.  The garlic scapes give this a nice, pale shade of green & make me think this would be an excellent dip to sneak in some spinach [no one will ever know] & make it even greener & more fun!  We devoured this with raw cauliflower & Olive chips.

Process until fine:

  • 4 Garlic Scapes, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Add:

  • 2 C White Beans, cooked
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • Pepper, to taste

Stream in 1T EVOO at a time, alternating with 1T water until you reach the desired consistency.

  • ¼ C EVOO
  • 2-5T Water

Quinoa Granola

I wanted an afternoon-energy-boosting-snack that was not oat based [since the muffins were primarily oats].  This granola, with its complete protein quinoa, seemed the perfect fit.  It was lovely sprinkled over large lunch salads.  Mmm…strawberries & balsamic.

I checked midway through cooking & decided it needed dried cherries thrown in; I’m glad I did.  This simple granola is not super flavorful, so the cherries amped it up some.  This creative spin on granola is sure a party, but not exactly a party in my mouth.  Next time, I’ll follow Ashley’s suggestion & add coconut butter in the mix; I might also swap walnuts for cashews, which Dave will like more.  Even so, I can’t stop munching on it — it’s great with rice milk — so it must have something my body needs.

Wine

We never have wine — alcohol for that matter — while camping, because…well, I guess it’s just not our usual style.  For this trip though, we found this 2007 “earth friendly” Cabernet Sauvignon from California & even managed to safely pack the wine glasses.  Neither of us really cared for this particular bottle; we found it fairly acidic.  Dave & I enjoy saving & writing on some of our corks; we display them in a bowl at home: mini-journals of special occasions, friends, events, etc.  [Thanks for the awesome idea Julie!]

Tea

Essential for me while camping.  It warms me up on those cold, cold mornings & soothes my tummy in the evenings.  Camping seems to throw my digestive system for a loop; & next thing I know, it’s off & I feel less than terrific.  Ginger & Lemon Tea does wonders for calming my tummy, & I’m anxious to explore other blends that may help.  Though the weather was generally quite hot on this trip, I still enjoyed my tea by simply adding cold water or rice milk after it brewed.  In the future, I think I’ll take fresh lemon to add to water in the morning like I do at home.  This is an amazingly cleansing way to start off your day.

Raw Brownie Balls

Rich.  Decadent.  Glorious.  These are a favorite indulgent from TKD that do not feel indulgent; raw desserts are like that — they just seem clean & nourishing even — so I make these often.  These little beauties are even growing on Dave: from his first taste test came this reply: “kind of nutty” [not a lover of nuts in treats] ; this time: “mmm, chocolatey.”

Process until coarsely ground:

  • ½ C raw Walnuts

Add & pulse until well combined:

  • ½ C Pitted Dates
  • ½ C Carob Powder

Add:

  • ½ C Maple Syrup
  • ½ C Organic raw Almond Butter
  • ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract [I used half a Vanilla Bean]
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt

Process until thick & smooth.

Add:

  • ½ C whole raw Almonds

-Pulse a few times until combined, keeping chunky for crunch.

-Form the mixture into golf-ball-sized balls in your hands.
-Roll in unsweetened, shredded coconut. [I leave some plain.]
-Place in a sealed container in the freezer until hardened.
-Allow to sit outside the freezer for a couple minutes before devouring 😉

To me they taste like heaven & brownies [hence the name alteration — she calls them Raw Balls, which just sounds weird to say to people].

I made about 17 balls [my “golf balls” are kind of small, so I can eat two at a time & not feel bad :P].  I could probably get 18 out of these by the time I scrape all the sticky batter & stop “taste testing” — did I mention — they taste like brownie batter!

~

What do you normally eat while camping?  I’m anxious to try other meals & make more of our camping experiences “gourmet”. 🙂

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