Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Granola
I currently have three large (we’re talking gallon-sized) ziploc bags filled with this lemon blueberry quinoa granola.
Well, correction. I have three bags of various versions of this granola sitting on my counter. We’ve been at war. It hasn’t been pretty. I yelled at my oven a bunch of times (the husband has been staying away – probably for the best), had a glass of wine to try to relax and almost, almost admitted defeat over the weekend.
First, there was the nice and crunchy batch that wouldn’t clump. Then, there were two sort of soggy batches that clumped great, but um, no moist granola for me please (I know, I know, people hate that word – but it’s the best way to describe the silly granola).
And then, miraculously, I added quinoa (because I ran out of oats), made one other minor change and hello my new favorite clumpy (!!) granola. Funny how things work out eh? I’m now fully convinced quinoa has magical powers.
I made it one more time just to be sure and now it’s ready to share (hence the three giant bags of granola in my house). Granola overload.
But it’s all good – because I cannot say no to granola infused with lemon zest and packed with plenty of dried blueberries, walnuts and toasted coconut. It is sweet but not cloyingly sweet – my biggest beef with the store-bought varieties. Let me also be clear – there are definitely clumps (as long as you follow the instructions in the recipe below) but they are mixed in with no clumps – so basically my perfect mix of loose and clumpy. I need to stop saying clumpy.
The quinoa adds this extra bit of earthy, quinoa-y tasting crunch. I’m not sure how helpful that description is but trust me – it’s delicious. The husband gave me the side eye when I said it had quinoa and then, after tasting, declared he liked it better than that first batch I made.
The proof is in the pudding, err, granola. Quinoa does in fact have magical powers!
- 3 ½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I use tri-colored)
- 1 cup raw walnut halves, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup honey
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest (from about 2 to 3 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup dried blueberries
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted (toasting is optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the oats, quinoa, walnuts, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, lemon zest and vanilla until well combined. Add to the bowl with the oats and mix until everything is evenly moistened.
- Spread evenly on the baking sheet and then bake for about 25 to 28 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking and then again once or twice towards the end of the cook time, until golden brown. Keep an eye on the granola toward the end of the cook time, since you don’t want it to burn.
- Remove from the oven and let the granola cool completely (no stirring after you remove it from the oven - it will not clump if you stir!). It will crisp up more as it cools. Once completely cool, transfer to an airtight container, layering in the blueberries and coconut.
Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats to ensure this is gluten-free (if necessary for your diet).
If you don’t want to use dried blueberries, I think dried cranberries (or really any other dried fruit) would also be delicious.
Cookie Monster Cooking
Pssssst. Looking for more breakfast ideas? You can also check out the baked oatmeal recipe I created for Oh My Veggies!
Get it here! —> Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal