Toward the end of 2015, my body began to give up on me for a number of reasons, one being not eating properly.
I don’t want to be the person who says, “new year, new me”, but I do realize I need to start taking control of my health if I want to make it through another semester of school.
There are two things I have been trying to focus on in 2016: eating breakfast before I leave the house, and integrating food high in iron into my meals.
One bad habit I have is not eating breakfast before I leave the house in the morning. This results in me being super drowsy and not fully opening my eyes until after lunchtime (which isn’t very ideal as most of my classes start before 9 a.m..) Another problem with my eating habits is that I don’t eat enough food that is high in iron. Since a lot of my body’s weakness comes from having low iron, I have been trying to integrate foods like spinach, nuts, oatmeal, beef and quinoa into my daily meals.
So this week I made a quinoa granola recipe because it tackles both of these habits as I can eat it with breakfast, and it uses many ingredients high in iron such as, pumpkin seeds, almonds, oatmeal, quinoa and raisins. I like to eat it on top of yogurt in the morning, or mixed into a smoothie. This recipe makes about six cups of granola.
Crunchy Quinoa Granola
3/4 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shaved coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 275°F and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain well.
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, shaved coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together applesauce, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until granola is golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Once out of the oven, stir in the dried cranberries and raisins.
Let granola cool completely and store in an air-tight container. I keep mine in the freezer so it stays fresh for longer. If you would like to make the granola gluten-free, use gluten-free oats. And if you would like to make the granola vegan, use agave instead of honey. This healthy granola is easy to make and the quinoa adds a nice crunch.