coconut quinoa granola with chia seeds & maple syrup

I have been on the search for a healthy & hearty granola for quite some time. Traditionally, while often thought of as a "health food," most granola is simply sugar + empty carbs with little nutritional value. The key is finding one that packs superfoods into it but that still has the full flavor many all of us crave. And as a busy Mama, some mornings all I have time for is a quick bowl of granola before Olivia and I head out the door.

Plus, a lazy Saturday morning in bed with a bowl of homemade granola, a stack of picture books and a pajama-wearing toddler next to you...really, that is what weekends are about.

This recipe is a new favorite in our home -- my husband has been devouring it plain and atop greek yogurt, and I've been enjoying it with cold milk in the mornings alongside scrambled eggs. 

This granola is the bee's knees. Baked until crunchy and golden brown, it is packed with quinoa, coconut, flaxseed & sliced almonds, and finished with chia seeds & coconut butter, plus maple syrup for sweetness. The coconut flavor itself isn't overpowering but adds just the right punch & the quinoa makes for a surprisingly yummy flavor profile alongside the crunchy chia seeds and toasted almonds. Serious yum.

[Plus it's gluten free + refined sugar free. Double yum!]
coconut quinoa granola with chia seeds & maple syrup
makes: approximately 4 cups
what you'll need
2 cups rolled oats || uncooked*
1 cup white quinoa || cooked + cooled*
1/4-1/2 cup golden flaxseed || ground
1/4 cup chia seeds 
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup maple syrup || real maple syrup
2/3 cup coconut butter (or coconut manna) || I used Nutiva brand coconut manna
1 tablespoon high quality vanilla extract 

small saucepan or butter warmer
baking sheet
parchment paper
wooden spoon or spatula

*You could also increase the oats to 3 cups + quinoa to 2 cups, which I plan to do the next time just to make a bigger batch since it doesn't last long in our house!

what you'll do
» preheat oven to 325 degrees + line baking sheet with parchment paper

» in a large bowl, combine: oats, quinoa, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, sliced almonds & unsweetened coconut; add salt and stir

» in a small saucepan, melt coconut butter; add maple syrup and stir to combine; add vanilla

» pour coconut-maple mixture over oat mixture, being sure to coat evenly & completely

» spread onto baking sheet evenly in single layer
» bake in increments of 10 minutes and stir in between, being careful not to break up clusters that have formed [because we all know the clusters are the best part]

» after 30-40 minutes, granola should be almost golden-brown; mine took about 50 minutes with 4 breaks to stir it

» once golden brown, let cool completely || store in airtight container or glass jar & enjoy!

happy, happy weekend. 

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