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.


(even despite the rain.)


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?

Simple, Fresh

21 Mon, 2011 § 10 Comments

The bulk food bins & I have bonded deeply the last few years.

You know it’s serious when your husband says,

“I’ll leave you to it – this is like Disneyland for you,”

before he darts off for the meat & cheese counters.

Buying bulk is less expensive & less wasteful, especially if you BYOB [bags].  It offers variety & a chance to try small quantities of something, by buying only what you need; this means your goods are likely fresher.  It also seems fresher to pour my grains, seeds, beans, nuts & dried fruit from glass rather than plastic bags or containers.

We keep a lot of our bulk items in our favorite snap containers from World Market.  I always have more bulk than I have containers for though, so I also store food in mason jars as well as reuse other food jars, which once held oils, pickles, etc.  Food storage does not have to be expensive; in fact, it can be downright cheap.

As long as it stays fresh, I am happy.

Dave is right: the bulk section makes me embarrassingly excited.  Whatever my food mood, I can generally fill it here.

Lately, my Spring [fever] mood has been light & distinct, using only a few ingredients to highlight simple flavors.

Five[or six]-ingredient grain salads.

[I have seen variations of these online but can’t find the links now.  Sorry.]

Lentils & Barley with Cardamom

  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 cup almond or hemp milk
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup coconut, toasted
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cashews, toasted

Combine & rinse barley & lentils.  Combine with water & milk & bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover & simmer 30 – 40 minutes until most of the water is absorbed.  Toward the end of cooking, stir in cardamom, salt & raisins.  Once water is absorbed & grains are cooked, allow to rest a few minutes.  Stir in coconut & garnish individual servings with cashews.

Tarragon Vinaigrette over Quinoa & Roasted Beets

  • 3 T champagne vinegar
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T tarragon [fresh if available; I used ~1 tsp dried]
  • ~6 medium beets, roasted
  • ~2 cups cooked quinoa
  • pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • sea salt & fresh pepper

Combine  vinaigrette ingredients & toss with quinoa & roasted beets.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper & top with roasted pumpkin seeds.  Tarragon is my new favorite combination with beets.  I can’t wait to get my hands on some fresh.


Do you shop the bulk section?  What has been your favorite find?

“Sunshine” in January

18 Tue, 2011 § 1 Comment

I spend nearly 8 hours a day typing away on a computer.  I am going to be completely honest:  coming home & sitting in front of the screen is one of the last things I feel like doing.

Frankly, I am still figuring my work schedule out, prioritizing how I spend my time & trying to ensure I get enough rest.  I am still anxious to talk more about how I am loving my body but I do not want to just throw some words on the page tonight.

So bare with me, please keep coming back & add a little lot of color to brighten your own busy day.

Oranges in January?

I have never lived where citrus grows.  Though it is certainly not blooming in Flagstaff,  we are less than three hours from Phoenix.  Apparently they are blooming there, & a lovely, young women brought a bag of fresh oranges & lemons from her grandma’s trees to share with everyone at work!

Blood Oranges nonetheless,

& who doesn’t love having fresh lemon juice around to add to dishes?

Orange-Kissed Quinoa with Fennel & Apricots

A new favorite! I wanted to throw together a dish that was clean & flavorful. This was it.

  • 1 C quinoa, rinsed
  • 1.5 C water
  • small piece kombu
  • ½ fennel, cored & thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried sage

Combine in a pot, bring to a boil, cover & simmer ~20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked & water is absorbed, adding sage toward end of cooking time.  Discard kombu.

  • zest of 1 orange
  • ½ C dried apricots, chopped
  • ¼ C walnut pieces, toasted
  • generous [or not so generous ;)] pinch of sea salt

Toss the remaining ingredients with the quinoa.

Savor this burst of citrus sweetness amidst the brisk, January air.


When your free time is limited, what do find yourself doing most?  What do you find you cut out?

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.


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.]

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